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Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

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rice with saffron, raisins

Saffron Rice and Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts


Happy Friday!! I have a very special post for you today. My friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic just had her first cookbook released: An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. I’m excited to be participating in her virtual book launch party and sharing a recipe from the book!

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 getting married Faith spent six months living in the Middle East, where she fell in love with the culture and cuisine. Subsequently, she returned four more times for visits, each time delving deeper into the cuisine and deepening her passion for and appreciation of the region.

Recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern (taught to Faith mostly by her mother-in-law, Sahar), but streamlined just a bit for the way we cook today, with unique ingredients demystified and cooking techniques anyone can follow. If you didn’t grow up eating Middle Eastern food, it can be a difficult art to master; Faith understands that, and explains complicated dishes in an approachable, easy-to-follow way. The book is available to order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!



The recipe from the book that I’m sharing with you today is for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts(I used pepitas). The recipe is actually vegan so you won’t have any trouble incorporating it into a vegan or vegetarian meal, but it is just as delicious served with chicken, beef, lamb, or seafood, and it would be really fantastic with just about any curry dish. (In the cookbook, Faith recommends pairing Shrimp in Aromatic Tomato Sauce with this rice dish.)



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 (I used Pepitas)

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)

Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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14 Responses to Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

  1. Absolutely stunning dish! This would be a lovely addition to my Thanksgiving meal. :)
    Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie recently posted..Torta de Champiñones y Rajas {Mushroom & Roasted Poblano Pepper Sandwich}My Profile

  2. what a wonderful and exotic dish! I would have this all the time!
    Kitchen Belleicious recently posted..Pumpkin Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Shrimp + Tate Bake Shop Giveaway!My Profile

  3. The pine nuts sound fantastic in this recipe!
    yummychunklet recently posted..ffwD: Top Secret Chocolate MousseMy Profile

  4. Love the rice and love the book!
    Magic of Spice recently posted..Autumn Recipes and In The NewsMy Profile

  5. Congrats to your friend. This looks like a wonderful cookbook. The dish you prepared looks delicious! Yum!
    Paz recently posted..New York Monday: Two Days BeforeMy Profile

  6. Delicious looking rice. I bet its really fragrant as well.
    Kathy Steger recently posted..PozoleMy Profile

  7. Mmm, your rice looks great!
    Heidi @ Food Doodles recently posted..An Edible Mosaic Book Launch Party and a Recipe!My Profile

  8. Saffron rice is always so pretty. Love the raisins and pine nuts. Pinned.
    Lea Ann recently posted..Feta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken BreastsMy Profile

  9. I love this rice – it’s simply gorgeous and so fragrant. Perfect complements!

  10. Beautiful rice…….love it!
    MaryMoh recently posted..Saffron Rice With Raisins And Pumpkin SeedsMy Profile

  11. What a delicious looking rice! The recipe sounds great and definitely on my list to try. I love both of your photos girls -beautiful! Congratulations to Faith and how fun to have a virtual launch party:)
    Nancy/Spicie Foodie recently posted..Food Photography Tutorials: From Boring To Fab, Easy Styling TutorialMy Profile

  12. A beautiful side dish! I love Faith’s book and blog.



  13. Thank you so much for your beautiful post, my friend! I love your version of this dish with pepitas and will definitely give it a try! xo

  14. YAY for Faith! Your version is beautiful Vianney!
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine NutsMy Profile

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