Shrimp with Saffron and Tomato

Even work-night meals call for a little bit of extravagance. Take this super-simple shrimp dish, which is one of those crunched-for-time throw-together things and would actually be sort of boring were it not for the aromatic addition of saffron. This exceptionally alluring spice—actually the stigma of a type of crocus—may be shockingly expensive pound-for-pound, but so few threads are required to infuse a dish with its luxurious fragrance, deep flavor, and rich yellow color, even a fraction of an ounce will last you quite a long time. So don’t keep the saffron tucked away for a special occasion—use it to jazz up everyday dinners, too. Served with good bread and a green salad, this shrimp is an excellent way to start.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups canned tomatoes, crushed with your fingers or passed through a food mill
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
A good pinch saffron
1 pound peeled shrimp
Salt and pepper

Saute garlic in the olive oil. Add tomatoes and thyme to the pan and crumble in saffron. Season sauce with salt and pepper, simmer about ten minutes. Add shrimp and simmer until cooked through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.