Friday, October 07, 2011

VeganMoFo 7: Smack my lips for Sumac!

Today's Spice is Sumac

Sumac! Smack, smack for sumac! I love sumac, so sue me!

Many years ago, I had a nice boyfriend from Iran, and he was the person who taught me about sumac. Whenever we would go out for Iranian food, there was always sumac on the table - just like there is always salt and pepper on the table. My rice dishes and veggie dishes always came sprinkled with distinctive reddish-brown tangy flecks of sumac.

When you buy sumac, it will be ground up, and it will resemble coarsely ground coffee. It looks dark brown, but it gets much more reddish when you mix it with liquid or let it stain your white rice. The flavor of sumac is great. It's a little citrusy, earthy, tangy, and bright. Try it, you'll like it!

First up, I decided to make some Fattoush - a famous salad from the Middle East, which prominently features sumac. I more or less followed the recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Man, was it great! Romaine, tomatoes, pursalane, pieces of toasted pita bread, lemon juice, sumac, bell peppers, olive oil... so delicious! PLUS...

We added in some tofu! Right as I was preparing my shopping list, my friend Alana sent me this recipe for Sumac Tofu. Perfect! I was looking for a good protein-y item to go with our salad. Plus, this recipe called for two entire tablespoons of sumac. It also called for chili powder, which made me very skeptical... but I have to say, I loved the end result.

It was Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats who had the genius idea to cut up the tofu slabs into little chunks and mix them in with the salad. Friends, this was an amazing dinner. We were both oooohing and aahhhing our way through to the last bite. Fresh, filling, flavorful, light, and robust. I cannot wait to make this again... first I just have to get through another month of other spices!

14 comments:

  1. Oooh... I've been waiting to see the sumac post! Yum! I've never eaten it but it sounds so good.

    Actually, I've never had fattoush either. But a salad with pita chips mixed in? That sounds like a good idea!

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  2. I love sumac! This was a good reminder to buy some.

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  3. I recently went to a store here called "The Spice Station" and bought some sumac. I've had it before but didn't know what I would make with it.

    Now I have a wonderful recipe. The tofu looks so tasty.

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  4. That tofu is blowing my mind! Yum!

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  5. I love sumac! Thanks for the link to the tofu recipe - I'm excited to try it!

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  6. That tofu looks mouthwateringly good!

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  7. I've never cooked with sumac but now I need to buy some so that I can make that tofu.

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  8. OK, I am seriously going to Barbur World Foods for sumac today. I love it already and now I NEED it!

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  9. I totally have to make this. I love sumac so much and am always looking for ways to use it.

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  10. I need to up my spiciness because so far I haven't used any of the spices you've posted about!

    I really want to try sumac now and I'm going to try that sumac tofu with mushrooms, I can't wait!

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  11. I've never tried sumac before, but you make it sound so yummy, now I really want to!

    -Sophia
    http://whatyourmommadidntknow.blogspot.com/

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  12. I need that tofu in my life.

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  13. Thank GOODNESS you posted about this! The few times I've seen it in restaurants I've asked the workers what it was and no one knew the English version of the name. Now I know it was sumac all along! Love it on rice...

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  14. I love your idea of sumac tofu over fattoush! Sounds incredible. :) I hear sumac is great over potatoes, too, but haven't tried it yet.

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