Saffron Shiitake Rice Salad

“I served this at my son Robin’s wedding rehearsal dinner during the month of September. I wanted to use a large, beautiful glass bowl I’ve owned for decades for the table’s centerpiece, and this colorful fall salad filled it perfectly.” —Pat Brett

You can find this recipe in Kimberton Whole Foods Cookbook: A Family History with Recipes, available in all Kimberton Whole Foods stores.

Saffron Shiitake Rice Salad

Photo by Seneca Shahara Brand

Serves 4 to 6

What You’ll Need

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or safflower oil
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 ¾ cups water, plus 3 tbsp reserved
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped or sliced
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped roughly


In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Add rice and stir for a few minutes until fragrant. Add water, saffron, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and cover tightly. Cook rice for about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

While rice is cooking, heat 3 tbsp water in medium skillet. Add mushrooms, red bell peppers, and scallions. Saute briefly until water has evaporated and then set aside.

Toast almonds in a dry skillet until they are fragrant and begin to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.

After rice is fully cooked, fluff with a fork and turn out into a serving bowl. Gently stir in vegetables and almonds to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and drizzle the top with toasted sesame oil. Sprinkle parsley on top just before serving. Serve warm or enjoy cold.