Today's recipe, Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, comes the cookbook of lovely Faith from An Edible Mosaic - her first cookbook! An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky is no other than Faith from one of my most favorite blogs, An Edible Mosaic. 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. Faith's cookbook, published on 11/6/2012, is available to order on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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.
Always a fan of Faith's recipes, I am enamored of this delicious rice dish! I brought it to work to share with my staff, and everyone loved it. The delicate flavor of the saffron, not to mention the absolutely gorgeous yellow-hue of the rice, combined with the crunch of the toasted pine nuts and mellow sweetness of the raisins give this dish top-billing on your dinner table.
A delicious, and did I mention quick, healthy side dish you and your family are sure to love, Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, the perfect accompaniment to chicken, lamb, or fish. In conjunction with the release of Faith's cookbook, there is an awesome giveaway - head over to Faith's blog to enter!
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.