An Edible Mosaic Cookbook Preview And Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe

An Edible Mosaic Cookbook by Faith Gorsky

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) by Faith GorskySpicy 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 GorskyMarinated Chicken Skewers (Sheesh Taouk), photo by Faith Gorsky

photos by Faith GorskyPhoto 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 by Faith GorskyVegetarian 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 by Faith GorskyVegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Steps, photo by Faith Gorsky

5.0 from 5 reviews
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
Cook time
Total time
Grape leaves (or vine leaves) can be stuffed with either a vegetable or meat-based rice stuffing. This recipe is the vegetarian version, which is light and fresh, more like a salad than anything else. The version with meat is typically served hot as a main course; this vegetarian variation is usually served at room temperature, as part of a maza platter. (Note: When the stuffed grape leaves are cooked, a heavy, flat, disk-shaped object must be placed into the pot to weigh the leaves down and keep them submerged beneath the liquid. In Arabic, this tool is called a Teteelet Fakhar, but any heat-safe lid or plate that fits nicely into your pot will work.)
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 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)
  1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Soak the grape leaves in hot water for 10 minutes, changing the water twice; drain. Trim off the stems, if necessary.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
To serve,
  1. 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.
Grape Leaves (Waraq al Ainab or Dawali): These are the tender leaves that grow on grapevines; they are used to make Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves. If you have access to fresh grape leaves that have not been sprayed with pesticides, look for leaves that are the size of the palm of your hand or larger, that are free from holes or blemishes. Before stuffing grape leaves, they require a little bit of preparation. Rinse them under cold running water, trim off the stems (without cutting the leaves), and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Rinse and drain them, and then they are ready to use or freeze (they can also be canned in a brine solution). To freeze, pat each leaf dry and then stack them on top of each other (try to place as many in a stack as you will need for a recipe); place the stack(s) in a plastic bag, press out all the air, and freeze. If you don’t have access to fresh grape leaves, you can buy them frozen, canned, or jarred, just be sure to soak them for about 10 minutes in hot water (changing the water three times) before using.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves by Faith GorskyVegetarian 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) by Faith GorskyCoconut Semolina Cake (Harissa), photo by Faith Gorsky

Grape Syrup Drink with Sultanas & Pine Nuts (Jallab) by Faith GorskyGrape 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 GorskyMashed 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:

order at Barnes & Noble

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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:)
Stuffed Grape Leaves, Spicie Foodie


  1. says

    Nancy, I cannot thank you enough for the lovely preview you wrote for my cookbook. It is incredible, and I am honored and touched reading it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my friend. xo

    • says

      Hi Faith,
      It’s been my pleasure. I’m so excited to sit down and flip through your book. But most excited about cooking more of your recipes.

      A very big congratulations to you amiga! I wish you the best and continued success:) xo

  2. says

    Looks like a terrific cookbook! Certainly the stuffed grape leaves recipe looks excellent. This is one of those dishes I love, but have never made. No excuse – time to do so. Thanks so much for letting us all know about Faith’s cookbook – it looks super.

  3. says

    What a great post and book review! If this is an example of what is in the book, I’m definitely going to check it out! What a talented person in both recipe creation and photography!

  4. says

    Great review of Faith’s cookbook! I don’t like to cook but I’m always inspired to try after seeing Faith’s recipes so I’m excited to see her cookbook! She’s so creative and everything always looks delicious!

  5. Eha says

    A beautiful and beautifully photographed preview of an obviously very interesting book! Shall certainly look into this :) ! An extra interest for me is that the foreword seems to have been written by Lorraine Elliott, whose wonderful blog NQN actually began my interest in Internet food blogging over two years ago :) !

  6. says

    The book looks gorgeous….living in middle east, I can really feel the authenticity even in the pictures….will wait for it to come in stores….there are a few dishes, I see in the preview which we love at home n I still need to find good recipes for them :-)

  7. says

    I had dinner not to long ago and my stomach is rumbling looking at these delicious grape leaves! Thanks for giving a sneak peak into Faith’s cookbook, I’ve already ordered two and am so excited to get them!

  8. says

    I love the recipe for stuffed vegetarian grape leaves that you have kindly shared with us. Congrats on Faith’s new cookbook! Nice preview Nancy!

  9. says

    I absolutely love Faith’s recipes, photography stories and, well, her. I don’t know her personally but feel I do through her warm, personable writing. I would urge everyone reading about her debut cookbook to order without delay. This fabulous stuffed vine recipe is just a tiny example of the flavour-packed and authentic recipes that Faith shares. I am joining in her virtual cookbook launch and can’t wait for ‘my turn’ to share her hard work with others. And, I am so pleased to have found you too, Nancy. Fantastic site and resources to explore. I love all things spicy!


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