Posts Tagged ‘Sumac’

Ingredient: Sumac

November 6th, 2009 Leave a reply »
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Despite the name “Lemon Vinaigrette”, the salad dressing used in Fattoush requires very little lemon juice. Why is that so? It is all thanks to a wonderful spice called sumac (also spelled sumach). This spice is made from the dried, powdered berries of the Sumac tree.

 

 Sumac

 

Wikipedia states that Sumac trees “grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, especially in North America”. I had no idea. And yet, their berries are “ground into a deep-red or purple powder used as a spice in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a lemony taste to salads or meat”. It amazes me how small the world is.

So, where can you buy sumac? I would be interested to know if you can find it in a general supermarket in the US. You can definitely find it in Middle Eastern stores or online at Sadaf.com.

 
Sumac

Fattoush – Crispy Bread Salad

October 28th, 2009 Leave a reply »
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Fattoush (aka. toasted bread salad, also spelled fattush) is my favorite Lebanese salad: simple to make and simply delicious. This salad is often eaten with other Mezza dishes or as a light lunch. There are several variations to the ingredients in this salad, but I will focus on my favorite.
Estimated time: 20min
Servings: 4

Fattoush

Ingredients:
Vegetables: 2 roman (cos) lettuce, 2 cucumbers, 2 tomatoes, (variations include: 1 red or green pepper, 1 large carrot, 5 radishes)
Necessities: 1 garlic clove, ¼ cup of minced Italian (flat) parsley, 8-10 leaves of fresh mint, 3 green onions
Bread & Vinaigrette: 1 large arabic/pita bread, 1-2 tbsp of sumac, ½ lemon, 3-4 tbsp of olive oil, salt to taste

1. Cut the vegetables into bite sizes and toss them into a large bowl. Mince the garlic, parsley, mint, and green onions. Add these to the bowl and mix well.

2. Lemon Vinaigrette: Combine the sumac, juice from ½ of a lemon, olive oil and salt in a jar, cover tightly, and shake to blend.

3. Toasting the bread: split 1 loaf of arabic/pita bread into two circular halves by separating the top and bottom of the “pocket”, place both halves in the oven at 400F. After 15min, the bread should be brown and crispy. Break the bread into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of the salad.

4. Before serving, add the lemon vinaigrette and voila!

In Lebanon, many like to fry the bread in vegetable oil instead of toasting it in the oven. I find toasting a healthier alternative, but frying the bread definitely gives a different taste to your Fattoush. To make the toasted bread even tastier, sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on the bread before placing it in the oven. You will see the difference.

** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the ingredients and recipes