Today is one heck of a special day. Like jump up and down, and square dance like you did in high school (or was that just me?) kind of day. My friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic just had her first cookbook released: An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair!!

I was so pleased when Faith asked me to be a part of her virtual book launch party and share a recipe from the book with me. The book 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. After hearing Faith’s story, I am dying to go to the Middle East and eat the food. DYING!

Faith spent six months living in the Middle East, and after returning home, couldn’t stop going back to visit making sure to take in the culture and food more and more each time. Recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern (taught to Faith mostly by her mother-in-law, Sahar), but made totally easy for the home cook. Faith explains complicated dishes in an approachable, easy-to-follow way. I’m totally buying it, and am heading over to order it on Amazon right now! (you can also get it from Barnes and Noble).

After you check out the recipe for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, head on over to Faith’s blog to check out her virtual book launch party to see the other bloggers who are participating. Also, as part of her virtual book launch, Faith is hosting a giveaway of a fabulous set of prizes, which you will totally want to enter for! Even I’m entering…because I like free stuff. DUH!

This recipe for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts is perfect for my November vegan month, but it would also be a perfect side dish for you meat eaters out there. Faith recommends serving it with chicken, beef, or lamb (or any curry dish).

Let’s make this, shall we? 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 ?uff with a fork.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

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

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

Directions:
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 ?uff 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.

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21 Responses to Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

  1. love this, very similar to a Persian dish called Shirin Polo (sweet rice).

  2. Joanne says:

    I haven’t made this pilaf yet, but I’m certain it’s amazing given just how delicious the other three recipes I’ve tried from this cookbook were! It’s making me want to go to the middle east also!

  3. ecavalla says:

    can’t wait to try this!!

  4. I love to see how everybody has presented this pretty rice, we loved it and I don’t think we’ll ever go back to plain rice again!

  5. Your rice look like it turned out absolutely perfectly! I love that you made it in a cast iron skillet…LOVE using cast iron skillets for everything under the sun! Next time I make Faith’s recipe, I’m trying your method!!

  6. Ashley Bee says:

    Very cool. I just came across some saffron, I have to try this! –maybe with peanuts instead of pine though, I dislike pine nuts.

  7. LOVE that shot of the pine nuts in the cast iron skillet… just beautiful!

  8. Kiran says:

    I love saffron rice, with sweetness from raisins and crunch from pine nuts!! Faith’s book is so beautiful!!

  9. jen laceda says:

    Absolutely love Faith’s site and can’t wait to get her book! Your saffron rice dish looks awesome, specially with the toasted pine nuts! Yum!

  10. bakerbynature says:

    I’ve gotta get my hands on this book! This rice looks incredible!

  11. Yum! Your rice looks great!

  12. The rice sounds delicious – the raisins will add a great taste and good crunch from the pine nuts :) Can’t wait to try this.

  13. I can’t thank you enough for your beautiful post and for taking part in something that means so much to me! You are so sweet, Katrina!

  14. I just got Faith’s cookbook in the mail the other day- and I LOVE IT! It’s gorgeous, and i love that it’s thinking outside the box with some very interesting dishes with new flavors. This side dish looks great- I need more side dishes in my life!

  15. Louise says:

    That sound delicious! Think the rice would go very well with Tilda’s Salmon and Asparagus stroganoff http://www.tilda.com/public-recipes/salmon-asparagus-stroganoff

  16. JulieD says:

    This rice looks so delicious!! And I love your step by step photos!

  17. Aggie says:

    Wow, love this! Those pine nuts are making my mouth water, what a beautiful rice dish. I’m intrigued by this cookbook, love trying new flavors.

  18. I looooove mediterranean food + this rice looks so good! In fact, I think you’ve inspired me to make something middle eastern tonight for dinner – maybe falafel + dolmas? Mmm, I’m getting hungry now!

  19. Can't Believe We Ate... says:

    Lovely looking rice! Love the roasted and toasted pine nuts! This looks like a cookbook I’ll need to find soon!

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