Saffron is an expensive spice that has a very distinctive flavor and aroma. It is prized throughout the world, but often only used for special-occasion dishes because it is so expensive.By weight, saffron is the most expensive spice on the planet.
Pick the red stigmas (not the yellow parts) of the plant, and dry them in your oven or in a dehydrator. Store saffron in a dark, cool location in an air tight bottle (brown or cobalt tinted bottles are best). When properly stored, saffron will stay potent for five years or possibly longer.
About 40 bulbs will yield a tablespoon's worth of stigmas in a season. (You'll use about 10 stigmas per recipe. At three stigmas per plant, that's enough for 6 good recipes using saffron.) The plants propagate quickly, too, so your yields will grow fast. By the third year, you'll probably be giving saffron threads away to neighbors and friends.
Can You Grow Saffron Indoors?
You can grow saffron indoors, but the plant requires lots of light and a dry period before blooming. Use soil that drains well, and supplement the light from a sunny window with grow lights if you can't provide around eight hours of sunlight a day. Saffron crocus is poisonous, so use caution of you have young children or pets around, too.
Want to learn more about how I grow this special plant in pots? Visit my second post on the subject: Let's Grow Saffron
1 - By Photographer: User:Velela (File:Safrron stigmas crocus sativa.JPG) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
2 - By H. Zell (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons