Saffron Berry-Cream Salads

Enjoy these delicious, hardy berries and pistachio-topped salads!

Saffron Cranberry-Cream Salad

Sweet, delicate saffron mellows the tartness of cranberry, slightly sweetened by stewing for 10 minutes. Everything marries well with the nuttiness of pistachios and bitter spinach in particular.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups of lettuce leaf mix with spinach
  • 2 Tbsp pistachios, plus a few extra for garnish (shelled, lightly toasted and/or salted optional)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup of water
  • ¼ tsp of saffron threads

Special equipment: high speed blender

Yields: 1 serving
Prep-time: 10-15 minutes

Preparation:

  1. Heat together in a small saucepan cranberries, walnuts, pistachios, water, and saffron threads on high heat, until the cranberries are boiling and slightly popping in their own liquids, about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn heat to low, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until cranberries are softened.
  3. Blend the cranberry-nut mixture in a blender until smooth, and then spread over lettuce blend in a bowl. Garnish with additional pistachios and enjoy!

Saffron Blackberry Cream Salad

Calm, deep, sweet, fragrant, and just a note of tart, all while staying refreshing on top of the lettuce greens.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lettuce leaf blend of your choice (I chose one with dark purple lettuces)
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 4 Tbsp pistachios, shelled (lightly toasted and/or salted optional)
  • 1 tbsp grapefruit juice
  • ¼ tsp grapefruit zest
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • pinch of saffron threads

Special equipment: high speed blender, citrus zester for zesting grapefruit

Prep time: 15 minutes
Yields: 1 serving

Preparation:
1. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the blackberries, 3 tablespoons of the pistachios, grapefruit juice, zest, water, cardamom, and saffron threads for about 3-5 minutes, until blackberries are softened and starting to fall apart.
2. Simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Lightly stir the berry-nut mixture while it is simmering. Plate lettuce leaves.
3. Take the mixture off the heat and blend it for 30 seconds in a blender/high speed food processor until creamy. Top lettuce with berry-nut compote.
4. Garnish with remaining pistachios and enjoy!!!!

Yasmine’s Notes:

To me, these salads feel like I’m eating nutty, floral fruit jams on top of a salad. And, technically, I guess I am! Which, by the way— I’m lucky that saffron is a common thing for my family; if saffron is not as accessible to you, you can swap with bottled rose water (often available in your local middle eastern markets) or ground cardamom.


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