This recipe was inspired by a free sample from Raw Spice Bar, a subscription service that offers monthly assortments of spice blends that are reflective of a culinary theme.  I was sent the Persian-themed March set, which included three packets of spices, related recipes cards, and some history and context about each package.

Raw Spice Bar

I was particularly excited to receive this set of spices because I have been mildly obsessed with Persian cuisine since I was young.  One of the first dishes I attempted in the kitchen was a chicken with walnut sauce and pomegranate arils (it was delicious).

This recipe is a really simple adaptation of saffron rice, made using riced cauliflower that is quickly pan-fried with butter, white pepper, and crushed saffron.  If you haven’t yet hopped onto the cauliflower “rice” bandwagon, this is a great place to start.  It offers a similar texture but it is low in carbs, high in nutrition, and adds another healthy dose of vegetables to your meal.

Saffron Cauliflower Rice

Saffron Cauliflower Rice
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • generous pinch of saffron, crushed
  • About 4 cups of riced, raw cauliflower*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (or to taste)
  • salt, to taste
  1. Place one tablespoon of butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, or until melted. Stir in the saffron.
  2. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a skillet or wok pan. Add in the riced cauliflower and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the melted butter with saffron and add in the white pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add salt to taste. Serve hot.
  3. *To rice the cauliflower, place raw florets of roughly equal size into a food processor and pulse until you have the texture of rice.

Saffron Cauliflower Rice
You can add the saffron in separately, but adding it to the melted butter for a few minutes lets it “bloom” and helps to develop the flavor and color.  This is pretty delicious on its own, but topped with some seared shrimp or scallops it is spectacular.  I pan-seared some white Gulf shrimp with some Aleppo pepper and it was a great meal.

Saffron Cauliflower Rice

This is one of those recipes that is easy to double or triple if you are cooking for a crowd.  Saffron is one of the splurge items that I think is well worth having around; a little bit adds a beautiful and distinctive aroma and flavor.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. I haven’t tried rices cauliflower, but it looks like something my family would really like.

    1. It took me a long time to try it this way because I was a skeptic, but it really is nice.

  2. This sounds super awesome good. Definitely want to try this. I love mashed cauliflower, but haven’t tried ricing it. Cool idea!

    1. It’s pretty delicious, I think you would approve!

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