What is sumac spice and what do I do with it? So glad you asked!
Sumac is a crimson-colored slightly sweet spice often used in Middle Eastern cooking. It’s not so exotic that it can’t be found in your local grocery store, but its flavor will bring a unique and bright touch to your dishes. Sumac is often described as having a lemony flavor and is delicious on grilled meats or as a topping for vegetable and bean dips.
You may have heard of sumac before. Perhaps you were warned to watch out for poison sumac on a hike? In fact poison sumac is similar to poison oak in that it causes a painful and irritating skin rash. But don’t worry; the sumac spice plant that produces red flavorful bulbs is not poisonous. The bulbs, or drupes, are harvested and then dried and ground into a powder. You’ll see piles of bright red sumac spice powder in markets from Jerusalem to Marrakesh. Use sumac like you would paprika and try one of these exotic recipes.
Adding sumac to pureed roasted cauliflower is a brilliant way to highlight sumac’s lemon flavor.
Make this Middle Eastern inspired salad for a light summer supper.
This chicken gets a double dose of citrus with halved lemons and sumac.
Take this classic potato side dish to the next level and spice up your French fries with sumac.
Sumac blends wonderfully with ginger for this Asian tofu dish.
Sumac spice is also a perfect match for seafood and here it coats grilled shrimp in a lemon-like sauce.
Potatoes coated in sumac and olive oil are roasted to perfection than paired with a mixed herb salad.
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Photo Credit: Martin LaBar