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    Valencian Vegetables with Saffron and Almonds

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    Valencian Vegetables with Saffron and Almonds

    This is the traditional midday dish in the farmhouses of Valencia. In summer, it's made with beans, peas and artichokes, but it's delicious with earthy root vegetables, which are lifted by the musky flavour of the saffron.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

    Serves: 4 - 6


    • Large pinch of saffron (about 20 threads)
    • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
    • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
    • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
    • 150ml white wine
    • 500g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 500g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 500g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 500g turnips, cut into chunks
    • Short stick of cinnamon
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 410g can chickpeas, drained
    • Flavouring Mix
    • 1 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
    • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
    • 1 tbsp olive oil


    1. Meanwhile, prepare the flavouring mix. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the almonds and fry gently until they turn golden - don't let them brown. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Fry for another a minute then stir in the breadcrumbs and fry for a further minute so they take up the oil and brown a little. As soon as the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas and stir in the flavouring mix. Bring to the boil and then boil, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced to a small amount of sauce - this will take about 10 minutes. Serve the vegetables warm (the best temperature to appreciate the delicate flavour of the saffron) with couscous.
    2. Soak the saffron in a splash of boiling water for 10 minutes, then crush it firmly with a spoon. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Fry gently for 10-15 minutes until they are soft and golden, but don't let them brown. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the wine and simmer briskly for a couple of minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Add the vegetables along with the saffron and its soaking water. Pour in enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil, add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf and season. Cover the pan and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

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