Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins & Pine Nuts – An Edible Mosaic Recipe

On November 6, Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic released her first cookbook,  An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. Along with some other bloggers, I am participating in Faith’s virtual book launch party and am honored to share one of her recipes with you!

Faith has a rich and wonderful story, which shines through on her blog and in her cookbook. After getting married, Faith spent six months in the Middle East, where she learned a great deal about Middle Eastern cuisine; she felt such a connection with the places she traveled that she has since returned four times and has deepened her understanding of the culture and food.

Faith’s mother-in-law, Sahar has shared her experience with Middle Eastern cuisine with Faith and in turn, Faith has put her own spin on the dishes to make them very approachable by those who do not have experience with Middle Eastern cooking.  Her book is comprised of more than 100 Middle Eastern recipes (most of which are from the Levant) all of which Faith has diligently streamlined for a modern and approachable take on delicious traditional Middle Eastern dishes.  Her book can be ordered through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The recipe I am sharing with you is Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.  This rice is big on flavor and aroma and was so simple to make with Faith’s detailed instructions. She suggests serving the rice with any type of curry dish, and I did just that!

I made lamb curry (will share the recipe with you next week) to go along with the rice and was astounded by how well the two dishes fit considering I had never tried her rice before.  I typically don’t think of rice as a stand-alone dish, but Faith’s recipe has so many wonderful elements to it that it really has a voice of its own.  For those who do not have experience preparing Middle Eastern food, this Saffron Rice recipe is the perfect introduction.  And those who do have experience with this type of cuisine will love and appreciate its versatility.

After you check out the recipe (she also includes a variation of the recipe), head over to Faith’s website. She’s hosting a giveaway of all sorts of goodies, so be sure to go and enter (and also give her a big pat on the back for her big accomplishment)!

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

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)

  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.

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.

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Comments

  1. Barbara

    Hi Julia!
    Nice to meet you too! Agree this was a fun event AND the recipe is fabulous! Have made it several times already.
    I’ll be become a follower…
    Barbara

    Reply
  2. Patty

    Your lamb curry looks like the perfect dish with Faith’s saffron rice, I served mine with a chicken sweet potato tagine and it was yummy! You have a beautiful site Julia, nice to meet you through Faith’s book launch 😉

    Reply
  3. Kim - Liv LIfe

    Loving the idea of the Lamb Curry!! I haven’t made curry in ages, and I think I’m due. So happy to meet you through the Launch Party! Well done on the rice… yours is such a beautiful golden color, I think I need to up my saffron next time.

    Reply
  4. Girlnpurpledres

    Thank you so much for visiting my nutrition blog. Faith is such a lovely person and I am so excited for her. I am also looking forward to your lamb curry recipe – it looks delicious and perfect with Faith’s saffron rice.

    Reply

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