We always load up on lemony tasting American wild sumac spice in the fall (see link on how we forage and making spice) so that we can get our antioxidant fix when the weather turns cold. Sumac contains multiple times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries and is loaded with Vitamin C. Right about now, in mid January is when we start to binge on sumac.
Our favorite ways to use it are:
1. Make a za’atar mix by adding equal parts sesame and thyme to dried sumac spice.
We sprinkle the mix liberally on :
5. Grill chicken, squeeze with lemon juice and roll generourly in the zaatar mix for the healthiest zaatar chicken nuggets.
6. Infuse and sieve to make sumac ade or sumac tea. Make sure to use enough sumac and infuse for long enough so that it turns a clear pink color.
7. Mix sumac with almond flour for a paste for desserts (recipe in Foraged Flavor) in the following proportions with sliced apple and puff pastry
¾ cup dried sumac spice, plus 2 tablespoons, prepared ahead (recipe below)
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup almond flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8. cocktails: make a sumac sour
9. sumac and pink grapefruit salad from Ottolenghi’s fantastic book Plenty More. BTW Ottolenghi’s series of middle eastern books have Plenty of recipes using sumac. Double the amounts required when using American sumac, whice is more subtle and “lemony” less “vinegary” Turkish sumac.
The recipe combines pink grapefruit segments, 1/2 medium red onion sliced finely, watercress leaves, basil leaves and 1 tablespoon sumac with a dressing of olive oil, sumac, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. We sprinkle an additional tablespoon of sumac over the salad at the end. The American sumac, with its toasty and cherry notes pairs wonderfully with the pink grapefruit.
Other Ottolenghi combinations are with beets, with roast chicken, and there are other online recipes. WE recommend doubling the quantity required.
10. roll corn on the cob in sumac
Remember that sumac purchased in the store is a different species and imported.