Introducing Green Owl Farm's Saffron
Green Owl Farm is our newest farm vendor providing our store with saffron products, grown right on the farm in Rhinebeck, NY.
Green Owl Farm is a sustainable, small-scale farm in Rhinebeck, NY, growing specialty long-season crops (saffron, turmeric, ginger, garlic, rainbow fingerling potatoes, luffa gourds, and bottle gourds). Additionally, the farm grows over 40 types of vegetables, with many varieties, for a 20 week CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which you can sign up for here.
To support the health of the soil, the farm decided to forgo tilling and establish a permanent bed system that is worked with hand tools instead of a tractor, with a focus on minimizing soil disruption and creating healthier nutrient dense plants.
The farm is Certified Naturally Grown, meaning the farm doesn't use any "synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. CNG livestock are raised mostly on pasture and with space for freedom of movement. Feed must be grown without synthetic inputs or genetically modified seeds."
We are excited to now carry Green Owl Farm's saffron products at Todd Hill! Read on to learn from Suzanne, the farm owner, about how to use the saffron extract, bitters, and dried saffron.
What does Saffron taste like?
Saffron is such a unique flavor — but its undertones are earthy, floral, and honey. It enhances the flavor of soups, stews, and other dishes.
100% PURE SAFFRON, grown on our farm in Rhinebeck, NY. Hand planted, harvested, cured, and bottled. Derived from the bright red stigma of the crocus sativus flower, saffron has long been one the most revered and distinctive spices around the world. Saffron has an incredibly long shelf life when stored in a cool dark place.
To get the most flavor and color out of your saffron, you will first need to bloom the spice: Grind a pinch of saffron (around 8-12 stigmas) with a mortar and pestle. You can add a tiny bit of salt or sugar to help achieve a finer grind. Add a few tablespoons of hot water, stock, or milk (depending upon the dish) to the ground saffron, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Add the bloomed saffron to whatever you’re cooking.
Our small batch bitters are up of our own farm grown saffron, ginger, and coriander and local honey. The herbs are steeped in vodka for several weeks and then honey is added for balance. Use these bitters in any cocktail that calls for bitters such as a Manhattan, Old Fashioned or our favorite: Saffron Boulevardier: 1 oz cognac, 1 oz sweet Italian vermouth, we recommend Punt e Mes, 1 oz Aperol, 2 droppers saffron bitters. Add all the ingredients and stir and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with orange peel. To enjoy the bitters on their own, add 2 droppers to a six-ounce glass of sparkling water.
Our small batch extract is made of only two ingredients: saffron and vodka. The saffron is steeped in vodka for several weeks. Use the extract in the same way you would vanilla to add the essence of saffron to baked goods like butter cookies, cakes, pancakes, muffins, rice pudding or warm milk with honey. Best stored in a dark cabinet. Keep bottle out of direct sunlight.
Looking for Saffron Recipe inspiration? Try it in Risotto!
Risotto alla Milanese
This is one of the easiest and loveliest ways to experience the full flavor and aroma of our saffron.
6 tablespoon unsalted butter (We recommend our Ronnybrook European style butter)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 small shallots, finely diced
1 ¾ cups Arborio or Carnaroli Rice
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock (We carry chicken stock from Yellow Bell farm)
1 tsp ground Green Owl Farm saffron
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup Parmaigiano-Reggiano
Parsley, chopped, for garnish
- In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and keep warm.
- Bloom your saffron --- grind the saffron with a mortar and pestle and a pinch of salt. Add two tablespoons stock to the saffron and set aside.
- Heat 4 tablespoons butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Over medium high heat, add the rice and cook for another 3-4 minutes until fully coated with the butter, oil and onion, and the rice is opaque and toasted.
- Reduce temperature to medium and add the white wine. Stir until the wine is almost evaporated.
- Add one ladle of stock at a time. Stir until broth is absorbed before adding another ladle. Repeat until all the stock is gone and the rice is al dente. If the rice is still too firm, add another ladle of hot water.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the saffron, salt and pepper, cheese and last two tablespoons of butter.
- Cover the pan and let the saffron rest for 5 minutes.
- Spoon into bowls, top with more grated cheese and chopped parsley.