Friday, November 9, 2012

An Edible Mosaic: Rice with Golden Raisins and Almonds

I have been reading Faith’s blog, An Edible Mosaic, for quite some time. I love her unique recipes, beautiful pictures, and sweet personality. On her about me page, she explains the mission of her blog:

“At An Edible Mosaic, we believe that food plays a tremendous role in our daily lives.  In its basic form, food nourishes us, sustains us, and fuels us; it’s what keeps our minds focused and attentive and our bodies running smoothly.  But food is so much more than that.  Food is how we celebrate (birthday cake), how we spend time with our families and friends (Sunday suppers), and how we express our culture and traditions (what would Thanksgiving be without turkey or Ramadan be without lentil soup?).  An Edible Mosaic is a true celebration of food itself.”

Love! Faith has come out with an amazing cook book,An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. 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.The book can be purchased online here and here.

The cover makes me hungry ;). Faith gave a bundle of lucky bloggers the opportunity to test out one of the recipes from the book, Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts:

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

Don’t you want to just dive into that picture?? After you check out the recipe below, head over to Faith’s blog to see her virtual book launch party to see the other bloggers who are participating. Also, as a part of her virtual book launch, Faith is hosting a giveaway of a fabulous set of prizes. Go Enter!!

Faith’s original recipe is as follows:

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts


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.

I had to make a couple changes to the recipe…because I was out of basmati rice and pine nuts (doh!). I cooked up Arborio rice and used toasted slivered almonds in place of the pine nuts. The texture turned out different than Faith’s, but the flavor was just AWESOME!!


To make it a full meal, I stirred in shredded rotisserie chicken and cooked peas. SO yum!


Thank you for this wonderful opportunity Faith!!


MizFit said...

you had had had me at PREP TIME = ten minutes...

Simply Life said...

Oh i DO just want to dive into that photo! So good to know about this!

Joelle ( said...

This looks super yummy! Rice is perfect for winter meals.

Cindy Brickley said...

I love An Edible Mosaic: Virtual Book Launch Party {Giveaway of Over $1300 Worth of Items!}.
Thank you for sponsoring. I think I will make this dish for Thanksgiving, a change off from having the traditional stuffing

Renee@Mykitchenadventures said...

Congrats to Faith!! Everyone is raving about this rice recipe! I need to give it a try sometime!!

Christina said...

Oh, that book is right up my alley! And YES to running together. Let's plan something!

theviewfromGreatIsland said...

I love the idea of adding the chicken to the rice, it's way too pretty to just be a side dish! My husband and I loved this rice, it's going on our Thanksgiving table for sure.

Candice said...

That book looks delicious!! ha!Congrats to faith! Chicken and Rice is my go to meal usually, adding raisins is genius!

Julia Mueller said...

Glad to see you participate in Faith's cookbook release. I loved the saffron rice recipe and am excited to try out her recipes one by one. Love your take on the recipe! -Julia (

Biz said...

Okay, I've seen this recipe three times today - need to make, asap! :D

Shannon G said...

glad you were able to participate in the launch as well! i had to do a little bit of adapting as well ;) yum!

Krista said...

Great spin on Faith's recipe, Erica! I wish I had the time to make it as well, but plan to before long! :)

future SIL said...

oh good lord that cover makes me hungry too! i love your twist up! also anything with rotisserie chicken is going to be crazy good - just saying it's probably the best thing in the world. enjoy your weekend mama!! xoxo

MaryMoh said...

Love your rice. The last picture looks so good....mmmm. Thanks very much for sharing your version. MaryMoh at

Faith said...

I can't thank you enough for being part of something that means so much to me! You are such a sweet friend! xo

Bet the rice was delicious with chicken and peas!

itzyskitchen said...

Of course! You're amazing- hope the book does so well!!

Heidi @ Food Doodles said...

I love your idea for making this a complete meal! This would be a perfect quick meal for us, I'll have to remember this!

Anna @ On Anna's Plate said...

That looks like a beautiful cookbook! I have such a cookbook addiction...but I could always use another (or another ten, ha). I'll have to look for this one!

Marina said...

I've seen this dish (and the book) on a several blogs, they all look fantastic. I love saffron rice. One of my favorite dishes! :)

Singerinkitchen said...

I actually have been craving a meal like this! MAking it for sure!!! YUM!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

I am needing this cookbook. Seeing it around a lot of blogs and I need it. Looks amazing and the rice with the raisins- YUM! I am having a fun giveaway of a cookie tower by Tates Bake Shop in NYC- would love for you to come by and enter if you get a chance!

bodyofamother said...

Yum!! That looks soooo good! Im thinking I need this cookbook!

Cindi Marinez said...

my husband would love the addition of the chix - will def try! yum!!