Today I have a very special treat for us all, we are getting a sneak peek at a great new cookbook. The cookbook is called “An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair”, and it was written by my friend and fellow food blogger Faith Gorsky. I’m sure many of you know Faith and her delicious blog, also titled An Edible Mosaic. It is so exciting to share not only a small preview with you but to share in the excitement of it all with Faith.
Spicy Potatoes (Batata Harra), photo by Faith Gorsky
Faith’s blog focuses on her international favorites, updated American classics, and seasonal dishes. Her blog is a great source and inspiration for clean, seasonal and healthy eating. For her cookbook Faith is focusing entirely on authentic Middle Eastern recipes, which were mostly taught to her by her mother-in-law. Faith has demystified these exotic cooking techniques and ingredients, making it easy for all of us to follow.
Marinated Chicken Skewers (Sheesh Taouk), photo by Faith Gorsky
Photo by Faith Gorsky
The cookbook will consist of 100 Middle Eastern recipes, that Faith wrote with the help of her mother-in-law. This makes the book extra special because they are one family’s recipes being shared with the rest of us. The photos were all shot by our very talented friend Faith, and I’d like to add that they are all beautiful. An Edible Mosaic, the cookbook, is due to release on November 6th. But you shouldn’t wait until then to buy your copy, instead pre-order it now. (I can’t wait for mine to arrive) It’s very easy all you have to do is either visit Amazon or Barnes & Nobles and pre-order yours. The book will also be available worldwide at bookstores on November 7th. You’ll really want to either pre-order or purchase your copy asap because I know this book is going to sell out fast.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves, photo by Faith Gorsky
Faith was kind enough to offer me, and you, a sneak preview of one of her cookbook’s recipes. I have to tell you that when I saw the list of recipes that will be included in the book, my stomach literarily grumbled. My husband and I both really love Middle Eastern cuisine, and so I know An Edible Mosaic is going to become one of my favorite cookbooks. I choose to try out Faith’s Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves recipes, and that is what Faith and I will also be sharing with you today. Let’s get started.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Steps, photo by Faith Gorsky
- 1½ cups (325 g) uncooked medium-grain white rice, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, ﬁnely diced
- 2½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 tomatoes, ﬁnely diced
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, minced
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) fresh lemon juice, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 tablespoons dried, crushed mint
- One (1 lb/500 g) jar of brined grape leaves, rinsed
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
- Hot water, to cook the grape leaves
- Plain yogurt (optional, for serving)
- 2 lemons, wedged (optional, for serving)
- Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, and sauté until the onion starts to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool completely.
- Combine the onion, remaining 1¼ teaspoons salt, tomato, parsley, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, mint, and rice in a large bowl; cover the bowl and refrigerate 3 hours.
- Soak the grape leaves in hot water for 10 minutes, changing the water twice; drain. Trim off the stems, if necessary.
- To stuff the grape leaves, lay 1 leaf ﬂat on your work surface with the shiny side facing down. Place 2 to 3 teaspoons of ﬁlling (adjust the amount based on the size of your leaves) across the leaf above the point where the stem was cut off. Fold the bottom of the leaf up over the stuffing, and then fold over the sides of the leaf onto the stufﬁng. Roll up the leaf, tucking in the sides as you go. Continue this way until all the leaves are stuffed. (Note: If you have any leaves that are very small, you can place 2 leaves overlapping and stuff them.)
- Line the bottom of a medium-large, thick-bottomed, lidded pot with the potato. Arrange the grape leaves (seam-side down) in compact rows on top of the potatoes, continuing with additional layers until all the grape leaves are in the pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt on top of the leaves; place a heavy, ﬂ at, disc-shaped object (such as a heat-safe lid or plate) into the pan on top of the leaves. Add enough hot water to cover the leaves by 2 inches (5 cm).
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 45 minutes; cool.
- Drain the stuffed grape leaves in a large colander, reserving the liquid in a bowl under the colander (store any leftovers in this liquid). Arrange on a platter and serve at room temperature, along with plain yogurt and lemon wedges, if using.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves, photo by Faith Gorsky
As I prepared Faith’s grape leaves my excitement really grew. The smells and ingredients are all ones I love. Faith’s instructions were so easy to follow, which is a great comfort when cooking something exotic for the first time. Quite honestly I found the hardest part of the process was removing the grape leaves from the jar. I know Faith’s instructions say to serve at room temperature, but I couldn’t wait that long. I took my first bite when they were still warm, and let me tell you the flavors inspired a happy dance. Being that it’s just hubby and I, we had plenty of leftovers that we were all too happy to eat for a few days. The stuffed grape leaves were so delicious, so much so that they will definitely become part of our meal rotations.
Coconut Semolina Cake (Harissa), photo by Faith Gorsky
Grape Syrup Drink with Sultanas & Pine Nuts (Jallab), photo by Faith Gorsky
All this writing about stuffed grape leaves is making me want to go cook another batch. Before I do so let me remind you to go pre-order your copy of An Edible Mosaic. I can’t wait to receive mine and start cooking from it. Also Faith will be joining us here for an interview and to tell us all about here new cookbook. Okay, go order your copies then stop by Faith’s blog to congratulate her.
Mashed Fava Beans with Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, & Garlic (Foul Mudammas) by Faith Gorsky
“When Faith Gorsky married her Middle Eastern husband, she married more than just the man. She found herself introduced to a culture and cuisine that would forever change how she experienced food and cooking.”
Photo courtesy of Faith Gorsky
Pre-order your copy now:
All images and recipe are the sole property of Faith Gorsky and An Edible Mosaic. Please do not use images nor publish the recipe without prior written consent. ~Thank you.
Below are the grape leaves I made. Thanks Faith:)