My friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic just released her first cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, and I’m excited to be participating in her virtual book launch party. Stay tuned because I get to share a recipe from her book!
First I just have to tell you, I have been drooling over Faith’s recipes for some time. If you follow me on Pinterest (and if not, no time like the present!!), you’ve surely seen many of her recipes pinned to my Food and Dessert boards. She is an artful and creative cook with a focus on Middle Eastern recipes.
Her new cookbook has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly on dishes from the Levant, but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East. I love her story — after getting married, she spent six months living in the Middle East, where she fell in love with the culture and cuisine. She returned four more times, each time delving deeper into the cuisine and deepening her passion for the region.
The recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern (taught to Faith mostly by her mother-in-law, Sahar) but streamlined for the way we cook today. She demystifies the unique ingredients and cooking techniques and explains complicated dishes in an approachable way that is easy to follow. As an example, this is her recipe for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.
The recipe is delicious served with chicken, beef, lamb, or seafood; and in her cookbook, Faith recommends pairing it with her Shrimp in Aromatic Tomato Sauce. Check it out!
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.
- 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.
To celebrate her new cookbook, Faith is hosting a giveaway with a fabulous set of prizes so you’ll want to be sure to head over to her virtual book launch party and enter!