As WFD conversations drift to individual ingredients, a discussion surrounding zaatar led to the spice sumac and its fragrant use in a variety of dishes. The first time I purchased sumac from a spice store, I was told it is a nice sub for fresh lemons in a dish adding a similar tartness. Beyond making a zaatar mix, I have used it to coat the rim of a cocktail glass, in scrambled eggs and in bastami rice. Many recipes calling for saute onions, include sumac.
What wonderful ways do you use sumac?
(John Hartley - a culinary patriot eating & cooking in Northwest England)
Nothing spectacular here, I’m afraid.
It’s always sprinkled into fattoush. And it (or za’atar, which can include it already, depending on the mix) gets sprinkled onto khobez bread before it goes into the oven for , literally, 10 seconds to crisp up. When I remember, I also add it to toum - the Lebanese “aioli” which traditionally doesnt include sumac.
My Aunt sent me this link. When I mixed it up I used whole spices and stored in a repurposed jelly jar. When I used it I hand grind m&p , warm the olive oil add blend and serve with warmed naan, lavash or french bag.
Roasted chicken with thyme
Baked pita chips
A great party snack: Toss whole almonds with olive oil, put on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a combo of dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and kosher salt. Roast at 400° for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a deep golden brown.
Use it for tartness anywhere you might use lemon or lime but don’t want wetness. Add to quick pickled anything (onions esp). Great on grilled meats and in ground meat mixtures like kebabs, sprinkled over dips and yogurt, even rice.
The first (non)recipe I tried and loved was this: toss chicken pieces with sumac, salt, and lots of sliced onions; line a baking dish with pita wedges; place chicken and onion mixture over pita, and drizzle with oil, and bake till chicken is done and pita is crisp around the edges. It’s called Musakhan or M’sakhan with many variations.
Thanks for getting this discussion revved up, Rooster. I LOVE sumac!
Serious Eats has some nice ideas. Ice cream topping, anyone?
I sprinkle sumac on homemade hummus and white bean dip.
My riff on the flavors of Turkish manti - elbow macaroni tossed with jarred Turkish hot pepper paste, butter, and whole milk yogurt and topped with a ton of sumac and Urfa biber.
I have an “Uzbek” marinade for lamb. Although I doubt sumac is used there, it is tasty:
lots of garlic
minced white onion
Clever! I found a recipe link for making the dumplings. My niece has been stopping by on wknds for a guitar lesson and some baking. i think trying dumplings might me a fun alternative. If we mess up I’ll boil elbows😋
Loving sumac this month, although can’t recall in what. I feel like I’ve been so many places, and cooked and eaten so many things. I’m recalling garbanzos, cauliflower, both of which I’m halfway through preparing again this week.
Well and of course both sumac or za’atar is more than welcome ontop of hummus!
Can’t remember where i was but the restaurant served homemade pita chips with za’atar as a free snacky thing at the table (and to use up day old pita probably!)