Tag Archives: pine nuts

An Edible Mosaic Virtual Book Launch

A fellow blogger, Faith Gorsky of An Edible Mosaic, just had her first cookbook released!  With the release of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, I’m excited to participate in her virtual book launch party, and share a recipe from her book!

About 2 years ago I came across Faith’s blog when searching for a Middle Eastern dish for my book club.  With her help I made the Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini, and the Golden Red Lentil Soup.  Since then, I have continued to read her blog and have had many opportunities to try out her recipes.  Many of them are inspired from when she lived and visited the Middle East right after she got married, and from her mother-in-law Sahar.

Faith’s book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, which focus mainly on dishes from the Levant.  Throughout the blog and in her book, Faith explains complicated dishes and approaches them in a modern way.  Her book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble! (so if you’re looking for a good holiday gift, definitely check this one out!)

Head over to her blog to check out the virtual book launch party to see other bloggers who are participating!  She is also hosting a giveaway- be sure to check it out all of the items up for grabs!

Below is one of Faith’s recipes, which I’ve made a few small changes to, based on what I had on hand in my kitchen.   The original recipe is Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.  This recipe is vegan, so it can easily be incorporated into a vegetarian meal, but will be just as delicious served with some beef, chicken, lamb or seafood.

Fifth Floor Kitchen Recipe Changes: When making this dish I used vegetable broth, rather than water, when cooking the rice to give it some extra flavor.  If you’ll be pairing this with beef/chicken/lamb then you can also use that specific broth as well.  Also, I did not have any raisins on hand, instead I used dried pomegranate seeds- it was a great variation!  Another tasty alternative would be dried cherries or cranberries.

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
ROZ MLOW’WAN

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

Serves: 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon turmeric)

  1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
  4. Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

OPTIONAL Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice.

Food Matters Project #3: Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

We’re onto our third recipe for the Food Matters Project.  I apologize for the delay, but we were out of town this weekend- and with no groceries in the fridge, it’s hard to make dinner!

Whenever I come back home, whether it’s from vacation, a work trip or just a weekend getaway, I always want something home cooked and fresh.  But it’s very difficult to have anything in the fridge if you were gone (since it’ll go bad).  Does anyone have great recipes which they make once they’re back from being out of town?  If so, I’d love to hear them (or have some links).

This week’s challenge was: Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut “Pesto”.  Mark Bittman gave some ideas on how to change up this pesto, which we did- although we also had some of our own ideas.  As he suggested, this does not only need to go onto pasta, feel free to pour it over vegetables, use it as a spread or an appetizer dip!

As with many recipes which we make, feel free to change out any ingredients which you like or don’t like, or have in your fridge or pantry.  For example, we used arugula- but spinach would be a great substitute.  Instead of pine nuts, use walnuts.  Or add some beans.  There are a million possibilities!

Heather has chosen this weeks recipe of Roasted Red Pepper Pesto.

If you’d like to see our previous Food Matters Project recipes, check them out here:
Seasoned Popcorn
Squash with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Roasted Red Pesto
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook

1 lbs dried fusilli pasta
1 16 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 cup kalamata olives, drained
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained
2 cups baby arugula
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp olive oil (you can use less or more, per your taste and texture)
salt (per your tastebuds)
pepper (per your tastebuds)
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Add dry pasta to liberally salted, boiling water.

In a skillet over medium heat, add garlic to 1 tbsp of heated olive oil and sweat for 1 minute, being careful not to burn.  Add mushrooms, pine nuts, pepper and crushed red pepper and saute until the mushrooms are soft.  Add arugula and saute another 1-2 minutes until wilted.

Transfer mushroom/arugula mixture, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, and grated cheese to a food processor.  Process mixture, slowly adding about 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour mixture over drained pasta and serve!

Barley with Stuffed Portobellos

This past weekend Sam and I drove into Virginia, it was beautiful to see the rolling hills- especially with the leaves beginning to change colors.  Absolutely breathtaking.  This means fall is here, summer has officially ended.

While living in the midwest I noticed that fall tends to come and go quickly.  School starts, football games begin…and winter abruptly begins.  Here, in Virginia, fall lingers.  I’ve learned to love it- it gives us more than enough time to try out many warm, filling and familiar dishes.

Whenever I’m in the mood for a natural, earthy flavor when cooking dinner I tend to add mushrooms into the dish.  Sometimes we’ll make a portobello mushroom burger- there are so many flavors in each bite.  So when I saw this dish in Vegetarian Times- I knew we had to try it.  Each bite has the perfect blend of leeks, pine nuts and portobello mushroom; the barley allows this dish to be a very filling dinner.

Barley with Stuffed Portobellos
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (Oct 2011)

cooking spray
4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 lb fresh spinach
4 oz goat cheese, chopped and softened
3 tbsp pine nuts

Cook 1 cup of barley in about 2 cups of water until it is tender.  Drain, and divide between 4 plates.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Brush mushrooms, on both sides, with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Also, sprinkle the mushroom caps with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper.  Arrange the mushroom caps on the baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes.  Turn the mushrooms over and roast for another 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.  Once the mushrooms are done, plate them on top of the barley.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Then add onions, leeks, garlic and thyme.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the leeks are tender.  Then, add spinach and cook for another 10 minutes until the spinach has wilted.  Finally, stir in goat cheese and pine nuts.  Keep stirring until all of the cheese has melted and has been incorporated into the mixture.  Remove from heat and add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of pepper.

Finally, fill each portobello mushroom with the leek-spinach mixture until it is spilling out.

Broccoli with Sun-dried Tomatoes over Quinoa

It’s finally getting warm here, the weekend ended up being beautiful!  Although Saturday morning was gloomy and chilly, by the end of the day the sun was out.  We took a walk on the Mall, among all the tourists, and got a little sun.  For dinner we tried burgers at Good Stuff Eatery, which were delicious.  Spike Mandolhson is known from Top Chef, and he opened this burger join a couple of years back.  Both of us were very surprised how busy it was!  So if you’re in Capitol Hill, and enjoy a good burger- check this place out.

In order to counteract the (not so healthy) burger, I decided a quinoa salad would be much better for us.  So below is a great recipe, for a quick and easy salad.  As always with these, feel free to change the vegetables or keep these yummy one’s.

Broccoli with Sun-dried Tomatoes over Quinoa
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

1 cup uncooked quinoa
3 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp grape seed oil (feel free to use another oil)
2 heads (about 1 lb) of fresh broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (feta can be a substitute)

Cook quinoa per package directions.  Once it’s cooked, add to a large bowl.  Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to the large bowl.

Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add broccoli and cook for 2 minutes, or until florets are coated with oil and begin to soften and brown.  Add water and cover tightly with lid.  Steam broccoli for 5-10 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the broccoli is tender.  Once cooked, add to the large bowl.

In a small bowl mix: sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir to mix all of the ingredients.  Pour over the salad in the large bowl.  Mix the ingredients, so the vinaigrette is covering the salad.  Top the salad with goat cheese.