My selection :
A fine, yellow-tinged spice which enhances the flavour of a dish ever-so gently - saffron's history has been linked to the history of the Loiret département for a long time. Saffron cultivation has long flourished in the Gâtinais, creating a profitable trade in the area.
In recent years the very active brotherhood has helped to spark a renaissance in the popularity of saffron, a genuine local tradition governed by a strict quality charter, which guarantees its culinary quality.
Gatinais saffron was renowned throughout Europe in the 18th century for its delicacy and its unique fragrance. From the 14th to the 19th century, Boynes was the world's saffron capital. In the last century saffron plantations in the Loiret still covered over 1100 hectares and represented nearly 20% of worldwide production of the spice! After a period of decline, producers in the Loiret are cultivating the saffron crocus once more. The crocus produces the fragile orange-coloured stamen, which yields the delicious spice. It is a job which requires expertise and patience: 160, 000 bulbs are needed to produce just one kilo of saffron!
Must-see: The saffron museum in Boynes
WITH SHREDDED FRENCH ENDIVES,
AND SAFFRON DU GATINAIS SAUCe
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking Time : 5 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4) :
- 4 French endives
- 12 scallops
- 20 - 24 Saffron threads
- 2 table spoons of duck fat
- 2 glasses of dry white wine
- 400ml of liquid crème fraiche
- 2 shallots
- 2 sundried tomatoes
Recommended wine :
Chablis (white Bougogne)
White Sancerre (Loire Valley)
The Recipe :
Melt one table spoon of duck fat, sauté the thinly sliced shallots without browning them, add the white wine and reduce down.
Bring the liquid crème fraiche to the boil, stirring in the saffron threads.
Heat the remaining duck fat and add the endives (cut into thin strips), with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring regularly.
Fry the scallops, add salt and pepper, then drain them on kitchen paper.
Place the endives in the centre of the warm plates, with a few sundried tomatoes.
Allow 3 scallops for each person, add sauce and garnish with the chervil. Serve the rest of the sauce in a gravy boat.
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