Exploring flavors: Sumac

This salad has an array of flavors from the clean refreshing mint to the sweetness of the balsamic to the citrusy tartness of the sumac spice.

Fattoush is a middle eastern salad, originating in Lebanon, and is part of an array of dishes known as fattat, using stale bread as a foundation. However my favorite part of this recipe is the deep red spice sumac.

WHAT IS SUMAC?…the best seasoning your not using!

Sumac berries grow on the Rhus Coriaria shrub, which is typically found in high plateau areas of the Mediterranean. The name sumac comes from the Aramaic word summaq which means “dark red.” As far back as 2,000 years ago, sumac was noted for its healthful properties, namely as a diuretic and anti-flatulent, by Roman Emperor Nero’s physician, Pedanius Dioscorides. Before lemons made their way into Europe, the Romans used sumac to add a tanginess to dishes. (The Spruce Eats)

Sumac makes a great sprinkle over vegetables, eggs, hummus… use in rubs and marinades for a delightful lemony kick.

The recipe below mostly follows the Lebanese Fattoush with a few Healthy Way substitutes. The Dressing seems to make more then needed. If you have not had this salad before, I suggest dressing once you have plated your salad.

Serves 4-6 people, Recipe count: 1 Tbsp. dressing = 1 fat1/4 starch from pita bread

Dressing Ingredients

  • 4 tsps. ground sumac, soaked in 4 tsps. warm water for 15 minutes.
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsps. fig balsamic or sweetheat balsamic (Healthy Way product), feel free to add more later to dressing, first let it sit to incorporate flavors (original recipe calls for pomegranate molasses).
  • 1-2 tsp granulated garlic- if you are a garlic lover go for more.
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • optional- 1 tsp dried mint- there will be plenty of fresh mint in the salad, so you do not need this.
  • pinch of salt

Preparation of Dressing

  • Combine sumac with warm water and let sit 15 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice, balsamic, garlic, vinegar, salt.
  • Add in 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk till fully blended. Let the mixture sit while you make salad.

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 Ezekiel pita pockets, halved and toasted till golden brown
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Heads butter lettuce chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint chopped, set aside.

Preparation of Salad

  • Toast pita pockets
  • Toss all ingredients to large bowl except, mint and bread.
  • Taste your salad dressing. Feel free to add more balsamic, vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Chop pita pockets and toss them into the salad mixture.
  • Plate salad, and dress to desired amount, sprinkle the fresh mint to desired amount.

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Tanya HW

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