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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 two recipes from the book! If you read me you know that sometimes I will do a kind of ersatz Middle Eastern recipe, according to what I like rather than tradition. But Faith is offering you the real thing, including the Arabic names of each dish.
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. As someone who loves a plant-based diet, I was reassured to find plenty of vegetarian dishes, which mostly can be made vegan. 
Faith has a pretty unique story. 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. I wouldn’t recommend this book for a novice cook, but anyone else who loves going out to Middle Eastern restaurants, and wants to replicate authentic recipes from this ancient cuisine, look no further. The book is available to order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
After you check out the recipe below, please head 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. Be sure to head over and enter. I also have a copy of her cookbook to give to one lucky reader, so be sure and leave a comment saying that you would like to win it.
The recipe from the book that I’m sharing with you today is for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, along with a variation for Mixed White and Yellow Rice. 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.) Btw, excuse the small images. I am a dunce with technology and couldn’t for the life of me make her very gorgeous photos any larger. If you head over to her site you will see them in all their glory, I’m sure.
Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts, Pictured with Shrimp in Aromatic Tomato Sauce, another recipe from An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair.
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)
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 fluff with a fork.
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.
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
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, cover and place over moderately high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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).
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.
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.

34 thoughts on “An Edible Mosaic Virtual Cookbook Launch, Recipe and Giveaway!

  1. Well the title alone makes me want this book!
    We eat a lot of rice in our house so I could always do with some tasty new directions to go in.
    Good luck to your friends launch – she must be delighted to have you help publicise it.
    Have a delish weekend.

    1. First entry, thank you. Faith has loads of cool blog friends (I’m not exaggerating) so I feel very privileged to be considered suitable launch material! It’s a lovely, lovely book. Cross your fingers….

  2. Thank you so much for your beautiful post, Kellie! I am honored to have friends like you participating in my event. xo

  3. juliaroastedroot says:

    Nice job on Faith’s delicious rice recipe, Kellie! Happy Faith’s launch has brought me to your site and am looking forward to checking out your recipes!

    1. I’ve just got in from work so I haven’t had a chance to check you and the other ‘friends of Faith’ out. I’m looking forward to sitting down with a nice pot of tea & reading your post, & rummaging through your archive! thanks for coming over Julia

  4. Looks wonderful! I would like to win please.

  5. gail says:

    i’d love to win this!

  6. I would LOVE to win this book, it is just up my culinary street and I loved reading about your friend too……you will make a perfect launch hostess, Karen

    1. Ah thanks Karen. You are officially an entrant for the book. Loads of good ideas and information on this fascinating cuisine

  7. janscholl says:

    I have purchased so many middle eastern cookbooks only to be very disappointed. I hope this one is the keeper. Middle eastern eateries in my area are the only real source of plant based food while offering other choices for my friends.

    1. That’s a good point about middle eastern food: there does seem to be something for people on different types of diets. I don’t think you will be disappointed in Faith’s book. Maybe see if it is in your local library (or ask them to order it) so you can ‘try before you buy’. I will enter you into the draw though, so you might just win it! Thanks for your comment

  8. jackie armstrong says:

    This book looks awsome, and i would like a chance to win it please.

  9. Bernice says:

    The recipes sound interesting and different than how I cook. I would love to win a copy and will head over to her virtual book launch. What a wonderful idea!

    1. I had never heard of a virtual book launch so was happy to be involved in my small way. It’s a great concept – very modern! Please do head over to Faith’s site as she has loads of goodies to give away from some great sponsors.

  10. Eha says:

    Have read about the arrival of this and what it entails awhile: how delightufl ’cause I too oft remain in this part of the world while ‘doin” my weekly menus! Would SO love to thrill my foodie friends showin’ them how it is truly done!!

    1. Well, consider yourself entered into the give away. Thanks for stopping by 😀

  11. Love those Middle Eastern flavors, and would love to learn more about the cuisine … sign me up.

  12. I’d really like to win this.

  13. Shannon says:

    I too would like to win this! The saffron rice recipe looks delicious. I think I’ve had something similar at an Indian restaurant.

  14. I love saffron, i love rice, and I also really love An Edible Mosaic! This is great – go Faith!

  15. Looks fabulous Kellie. I’d love to win a copy.

  16. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand says:

    Kellie, the books sounds as if it is full or fragrant and aromatic recipes. I’d love to be lucky enough to win a copy. Congrats to Faith on the book launch 🙂

  17. Gorgeous looking book! I like that you’ve said lots of the recipes can be made vegetarian, as I love middle eastern food! I’d love to win the book 🙂

  18. Linda says:

    The recipes look so colourful & full of flavour. A great incentive to try some yummy middle eastern food!

  19. What a fun event! Thanks for sharing the info on the cookbook launch.

  20. I adore Middle Eastern Food and would love to win An Edible Mosaic. I can never eat enough rice, it is my starch of choice and always love recipes to show off how wonderful it can be!

  21. Joan O says:

    This sounds like an interesting and fun book to cook from. I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for the oppoturnity.

  22. Has there already been a winner? I’d love to win the cookbook! 🙂

  23. Cheryl W. says:

    I would love, love, love to win this cookbook. I crave Middle Eastern Fare, but there are no authentic places to find it here in my area. So, next best thing is to try my hand at it.

  24. Sally says:

    Interesting concept. The recipes are really nice. Do you know which part of the Middle East they both come from though? Although many recipes overlap most have countries of origin.

    1. They come from all over, but her husband is from Syria. You will probably be familiar with most of the dishes already. Mainly advanced home cooking, as her mother in law might serve.

  25. Did anyone win yet?

    1. Sorry, the random number generator wasn’t with you this time. But, when my own copy comes from Amazon (due in December!), you can certainly borrow it.How’s that?

  26. kiakianna says:

    Reblogged this on kia's life.

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