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Saffron Vinaigrette for Fish or Seafood


Saffron vinaigrette with grilled shrimp

Saffron vinaigrette with grilled shrimp

Hank Shaw
This sauce is an adaptation of a dressing in Mario Batali's Babbo Cookbook. I serve it mainly as a dipping sauce for grilled shrimp, but it is very versatile -- good with any white fish, clams or even just a salad. Saffron is the dominant flavor, with the mustard playing backup. Use the best saffron you can afford, as well as a good mustard. This recipe makes about a cup. It can be stored in the fridge for a week or so.


  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 t. saffron threads
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion or 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 2 T. country style mustard
  • 1 T. sugar
  • Zest and juice of a lemon
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt


Bring the saffron, vinegar and onion to a boil in a small pot, and let it roll until the mixture is reduced by half.

When it has been reduced, pour it into a food processor and add the mustard, sugar, lemon zest and juice. Buzz well to combine, then drizzle in the olive oil slowly with the machine on.

Test for salt, and add to taste. Buzz for a second or two more, just to combine.

Serve at room temperature.

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