Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts: An Edible Mosaic's Virtual Book Launch Party

 

Bookcover small

I'm excited to share something different with you today. My friend Faith Gorsky, author of the beautiful blog An Edible Mosaic, just released her very first cookbook: An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. I'm so honored to be participating in her virtual book launch party today, and sharing an awesome recipe from the book with all of you! (Please note, photos are courtesy of Faith.)

The book contains over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, focusing mainly on dishes from the Levant, but it also has a few recipes from other parts of the Middle East. Faith's story is pretty unique. After she got married, she spent six months living in the Middle East, which is where her love for the culture and cuisine began. Since then, she has returned four more times, each time deepening her passion and appreciation for the region…and the cuisine. The recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern. Faith's mother-in-law, Sahar, taught her many of the recipes, but Faith streamlined them a bit, making them easier to recreate in the reader's kitchen. Faith explains complicated dishes in an easy-to-follow way. The book is available to order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

After checking out the recipes below, head over to Faith's blog to check out her virtual book launch party and see the other bloggers who are participating. She is also hosting a great giveaway, so be sure to head over to her blog to enter!!

The recipe I am sharing is for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, as well as a variation for Mixed White and Yellow Rice (which is the one that I made). The recipe is vegan, so it can be incorporated into a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but it also pairs well with chicken, lamb, beef, seafood, or any curry dish. I, personally, paired the variation recipe with a baked jalapeño-stuffed chicken breast, which turned out to be a delicious pairing. Faith, congratulations on the cookbook release, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of your launch party!!

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

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

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

Mixed White and Yellow Rice

VARIATION: Mixed White and Yellow Rice

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) uncooked basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
2 pods cardamom, cracked open
2 whole peppercorns
¾ teaspoon salt
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
1-2 pinches saffron threads or ½ teaspoon turmeric dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

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, cover and place over moderately high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the rice, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and salt, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the boiling water to the rice, turn heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil. Give it a stir, cover the pot, turn heat down to very low, and cook 10 minutes (don’t open the lid during this time).
4. After the rice is cooked, let the pot sit with the lid on for 15 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork. Transfer 1/3 of the rice to a separate bowl.
5. Stir the saffron or turmeric-colored water into 1/3 of the rice (the rice will turn yellow). Mix together the yellow rice and white rice; serve.

Just for fun, here's my photo:

Edible mosaic rice