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Saffron Rice & An Edible Mosaic

Posted Nov 09 2012 12:00am
Today I'm mixing it up around here to celebrate the release of my friend's cookbook!  I first met Faith Gorsky of An Edible Mosaic through a 5 Star Makeover event and instantly fell in love with her photography and creativity.  I'm excited to be a part of the virtual launch party for An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern  Fare with Extraordinary Flair.

The book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly of the Levant, but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East.  In her cookbook, Faith tells the tale of authentic, streamlined recipes taught to her mostly by her mother-in-law Sahar.

I had the chance to try out one of the recipes from her cookbook this week, Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.  I made some substitutions for what I had on hand (brown basmati and pistachios instead of pine nuts) and cooked it a bit little longer to make sure the brown rice was cooked through.  Served alongside some sauteed kale and pork chops, it was clear that I need to get this book ASAP to expand my repertoire of Middle Eastern cooking :)  The rice was delicious- a little sweet from the raisins and subtly spiced with saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.  If this is dish is any indication, this is one tasty book!

Saffron Rice w/Golden Raisins and Pistachios

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
Recipe courtesy of 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. 

After you order your book from or Barnes and Noble , head on over to Faith's virtual launch party to check out the other bloggers participating and check out the giveaways on her blog!
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