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
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)
- Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.