Shrimp Salmon and Saffron Fregola

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With temperatures of -15 degrees C the only thing I have on my mind – the tiny part that is still left unfrozen – is warmth. If you remember the story of Nature Boy and Flirty Flannel Girl you will know I am once again featuring my hottest attire this season! 

My feet are permanently frozen and even 2 pair of socks does not do much to thaw them much. Let’s not even begin to talk about getting into the car in the morning. A frozen block of metal that needs to be ice-picked into each morning and once inside the biting cold seeps into every bit of exposed skin. It is a race to get indoors into warm and comforting depths of the home and thick warm socks!

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In the kitchen the pots are often steaming with creamy risottos, bubbling stews and soups and soothing casseroles. Meals are mostly focused around good hearty ingredients lots of vegetables, fish and white meat and occasionally a good piece of beef or lamb. After last month’s foodie orgies, I am so happy to be back to the good old eating habits. The body is fuelling up and feels full of energy.

I am also quite happy to be getting more sport back into my routine. Ever since my return from Dubai I began lagging back, finding excuses to do anything but my sport routine. Not a good idea I realized. The older I am getting the harder it feels like to get back into shape unfortunately. Has anyone noticed this too? So I am back on the treadmill and regularly doing my gym – everything from tabata workouts to pilates and yoga to get my balance again. The thing I find best is the extra perk it gives to my overall mood and with a teenager in the house these perky moods of mine keep things on the positive end for sure.

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Keeping us lively and active throughout this dull, dark and cold month of January are dishes like this beautiful fregola with nuances of saffron and robust flavors of seafood bring unique flavors together.

Fregola is a type of semolina pasta often found in Sardinia, Italy. It is also called Sardinian couscous (very much like the Israeli couscous) To make the pasta semolina flour is mixed with water until small beads are formed. Traditionally, the beads were sun dried but the commercial versions are toasted, which gives it its gorgeous subtle nuttiness. With the shrimp, salmon and the exquisite pinch of saffron this fregola will bring out the best in everyone at the table.

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I am so thrilled to share that finally “Plated Heirlooms” the cookbook I shot completely for Dima Sharif  back in 2013 is ready and waiting for the ink to dry off. The images apprently have become so loved and discussed by many food photography experts and enthusiasts and are said to be "setting a new trend in food photography: Cultural Food Photography.” Over the past few weeks I have been sharing a few of these images on my Facebook page and discussing styling and photography aspects of the images. If food photography and styling is what interests you make sure you do not miss these. The cookbook is a massive treasure filled with gorgeous details about Palestinian cuisine - a cuisine that has not been chartered to this extent. There are over 180 recipes, beautiful stories, rich cultural features that are all highlighted by my photography. Pre-orders for the book are now open.

Recipe: Shrimp Salmon and Saffron Fregola

Prep Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 4



  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 60 ml dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300g shrimps
  • 300g salmon, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken broth
  • 185g fregola / Israeli couscous / Pearl couscous
  • flat-leaf parsley



  1. Crush the saffron in a small bowl or cup, pour the wine and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pot. When the pan is very hot, add the shrimp and seat for 1 minute on each side. Make sure not to cook all the way through as it will cook further in the stew. Transfer to a plate. Add the salmon and also sear for about a minute until all sides are golden. Transfer to the plate with the shrimps.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sauté onion and garlic until translucent, soft and fragrant - about 5 minutes. Add the saffron mixture, cooking for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, bringing it to a rolling boil, then add the fregola. Reduce heat and cook for approx. 12-15 minutes (check packet instructions). Season to taste.
  4. Add the shrimp and salmon cover and allow fish to heat through. Serve sprinkled with parsely.


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Yes it is really as good as it looks. Everything that makes a crisp, cold day go away with the warmth of steamy seafood and pasta. Grab the spoon and join me on my table!

Workshop Update


Time to make a go of your Goals 2016. A 2-day intensive food styling and photography course in the stunning Rome countryside!

More than half of the tickets for the workshop coming up in May have been SOLD. We've got some awesome participants coming from as far as Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and as close as Germany and Ireland. Join me and Cooksister for a unique food experience this May!

>> Get the details and the link to your personal ticket now.

Don’t miss your opportunity to unleash your creativity.




You might like these warming winter ideas from What’s for lunch, Honey?:

Roasted Vegetable Pearl Barley Soup-Kulinarik-0149 Sausage and Fennel Cassoulet-0014 Pollo Alla Cacciatore-(0396) by Meeta K. Wolff
Roasted Root Vegetable and Pearl Barley Soup Sausage and Fennel Cassoulet Pollo alla Cacciatora - Hunter’s Chicken Stew

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2016 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. A hearty, warming and tasty winter dish! Perfect when it's freezing cold outside.



    1. Yes it is! I love the bold yet subtle nuances here! Thanks for your comments dear Rosa!

  2. It's funny but of course we haven't had much frost or snow at all. As we speak there is a little bit frost. Something like -2 at the most. Not that I've been out much but we definitely haven't had winter yet. Doesn't mean I don't like wonderful dishes like this! And congratulations on the cookbook! Wow 2013! So long ago!

    1. Thanks Simone. It was a short but hard cold spell. This was a great satisfying dish perfect for the cold! And yes 3 years in the making but it is an awesome one!

  3. In UK right now and it's SO cold. Need comfort food like this. Can't wait to see Dima's book in person so to speak.

    1. Next time come here and I will give you this kind of comfort food. Hope you like the book!

  4. Meeta,
    I am often scared to use bright colors and pattens in photos because I worry that they will overpower the food. But you've done it so well. We love anything and everything with shrimp - it's our comfort food too.

    1. Thank you so much! I do like bright colors and like taking up the challenge. Glad you like it!

  5. That looks soooo good and I love shrimps!!!! I have to try this out! Btw. where are you buying your plates? I am totally in love with them! I just have bougth the "Grazioso" plates from Arte Viva (here you can have a look at them (the 7th one): They are beautiful!! And I think they would make a good combination with the plates you have in these pictures. :) (Yes I am a "plateaholic"! :D )

    1. Martina haha! I am a propoholic I bought these plates in a store here in Weimar. Glad you like it!

  6. Brrrrr, it sounds cold in Germany. We are having a very mild winter here in UK. It doesn't matter though, I'll still devour this fregola any day!

    1. It really was cold here but things are looking better now for sure! Fregola is grand any time!

  7. Can't say we've seen much snow here in London. Maybe one night when the conservatory roof got an icing sugar dusting but that's it. The rest of the time it's been freakishly warm... But that doesn't stop me cocooning and shirking my exercise responsibilities LOL! Trying to get back into it now with a bit of rowing and running but fascinated by the tabata idea. LOVE this dish - fregola is something I don't have often enough!

    1. The tabata is killing but so effective! We need to cook together again. Miss it!

  8. Looks delicious! I love salmon and saffron too

  9. Congratulations Meeta Again! I love the fact that you put through the long effort of publishing this book. I love the recipe too because you have interweaved both the contents. As for your whites I am always drooling over them so much so I have tried a stark white this week. Either I will be bashed or praised

    1. Thanks Roy! Glad you liked the shots. I love whites and color a lot and always try a new perspective. I doubt you will be bashed for your beautiful work!

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