Different recipes and dishes will call for various ways to incorporate saffron. Here are the most common means of adding saffron to a dish, so you can decide for yourself what works best for your recipe.
Just keep in mind that saffron is similar to a dried herb, in that it needs heat and hydration to draw out all of its aromatics, not to mention its rich golden color—tossing a couple of threads into a salad or a sheet tray of roasted veggies won’t get you far. Use one of the methods below to get the most out of every strand.
Also, much like any dried herb or spice, saffron doesn’t have an indefinite shelf life. To get the most color and flavor out of your saffron, try to use it up within one year of purchase. Older saffron will begin to lose its flavor and color, and grow brittle—so use it or lose it!