Home ยป Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

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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 a recipe from the book! And let me tell you, this recipe is a real treat!


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 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. 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!

The recipe from the book that I’m sharing with you today is for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts. 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 (ROZ MLOW’WAN) eecipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission

1 1/2 cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1 3/4 cups (425 ml) boiling water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric)


Soak the rice in warm 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.

Yield: 6 servings (1 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 265 calories; 6.0 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 292 mg. sodium; 48.8 g. carbohydrate; 1.3 g. fiber; 3.7 g. protein

Result: You never had to tell me twice to try something ethnic…I love Middle Eastern, Indian, and Thai the most. Mexican, too. Unlike many, Italian food may be my last choice. The saffron in this recipe is worth every last penny. Yes, it’s expensive. But yes, it is worth it. Saffron is a flavor I cannot describe, but I can only wish for others to have the opportunity to enjoy, too. Faith, this recipe is amazing. I cannot WAIT to try so many more of your recipes. The cookbook is STUNNING and I couldn’t be happier for you. Cheers to you!


 Programming at the hospital has picked up speed…big time. Yesterday, I spent 4 1/2 hours in group education and 90 minutes in a one-on-one session. So much diabetes education going on and I love it. Sadly, all things were going wrong and hectic in the kitchen, but…hey, that’s the name of the game. I went straight from after work diabetes programming to my hockey game that was over an hour away. Luckily, I scored a goal…and we won. But regardless, you never regret a workout, right? Right. So I will be doing just that after work today!

On schedule for the weekend is nothing more than football, chili, running, and bake sale preparations for next week. I may even feel so inspired that I just may start my Christmas shopping! That is my kind of weekend! 😀


Share With Your Friends!


  1. Erica @ EricaDHouse.com
    November 9, 2012 / 6:27 am

    I love Middle Eastern food! I tried to find more info on her cookbook on Amazon but it doesn’t have the ‘look inside’ function – do you know how vegetarian friendly the book is? Most cookbooks are 50%+ meat centric so I usually pass but I’d love to wishlist this one for Christmas!

  2. the candid rd
    November 9, 2012 / 7:05 am

    Wowza, Christmas shopping so soon!? Yeah, I guess it’s that time isn’t it? Exciting!
    This recipe sounds wonderful. I made my first saffron rice last year around this time, and it was a huge hit in this house. I love the addition of pinenuts to this one. Yum yum! I’m going to slowly get Nick obsessed with Middle-Eatern food ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Renee @ Mykitchenadventures
    November 9, 2012 / 8:59 am

    congrats to Faith! I am looking forward to your launch Nicole! xxoo

  4. Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    November 9, 2012 / 9:27 am

    Middle Eastern is probably my favorite ethnic cuisine – I can’t get enough! I’d love to have a cookbook full of Middle Eastern recipes on my shelf – this looks delicious!

  5. Biz
    November 9, 2012 / 10:52 am

    I hate how many years I shunned ethnic food because I thought I wouldn’t like it – phooey! This looks amazing – and my SIL willl like it too!

    Hooray for scoring another goal – you are on fire with this team! ๐Ÿ˜€ Fingers crossed Illini comes through for you tomorrow!

  6. Kate
    November 9, 2012 / 10:22 pm

    I saw another review of this book – it sounds fantastic.

  7. Ammie
    November 10, 2012 / 9:02 am

    This is definitely a dish we’d love! This cookbook sounds amazing!

  8. Faith
    November 10, 2012 / 4:24 pm

    Thank you so much for participating in my event, Nicole! Truly means the world to me, my friend. xo

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