Here's a recipe that exploits the super spice that is saffron (azafrán) to the best ends. Valencia lays claim to have originated this dish. My advice to you is to always have saffron in your kitchen. There are so many wonderful Spanish meals that cannot be made without it. Potatoes with Almonds and Saffron (serving 4 people) is just one.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 saffron threads soaked in 1 tablespoon of boiling water
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Drop the potatoes into salted water and set them to one side. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Fry the almonds until golden, then stir in the garlic and breadcrumbs. Stir over the heat until light golden brown. Add the parsley and saffron and allow to bubble up again. Tip the contents of the pan into the food processor, or use a pestle and mortar. Process with a couple of spoonfuls of water to a thick paste. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a heavy pan. Add the almond and saffron paste and pour in enough water to come halfway up the potatoes. Season. Bring to the boil, cover and cook gently until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 15 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking to allow the top potatoes to come into contact with the heat at the bottom. Remove the lid and boil rapidly until the cooking broth is reduced to a thick sauce and the potatoes are perfectly soft. Serve at room temperature.