We take a look at a super-hero of an ingredient and give you five simple ideas of how to use them. Here Rebecca Seal shares her best sumac recipes.
Sumac is a deep red spice with a deliciously tart citrus flavour, made from the ground berries of the sumac bush. Before lemons arrived in Europe, it was used by the Romans to give dishes a tasty tang. Today it is widely used across the Middle East and southern Europe as a condiment for sprinkling over dishes as well as in cooking. It’s particularly good at adding a fruity sourness to a dish, like the lovely acidity you get from a ripe strawberry or raspberry.
Sprinkle a pinch of sumac over a beautiful salad made from shaved fennel, radishes and pomegranate seeds, dressed with best extra virgin olive oil.
Mix plenty of sumac together with soft butter, thyme and salt and pepper. Rub all over the skin of a whole chicken, and gently lift the skin away from the breast, then push some of it under the skin. Place a few cloves of garlic and a sprig or two of thyme, plus a touch more of the butter mixture, into the cavity. Roast as normal.
Scatter sumac generously over the skin of a seabass, which has been stuffed with chopped chives and dill. Drizzle over some olive oil and bake for about 15 mins at 180ºC, then open up the foil, move to the top shelf of the oven and allow the skin to crisp up for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
Stir a pinch of sumac into some yogurt or labne (a yoghurt-based cream cheese) and serve it a dip or sauce for grilled lamb.
Combine sumac and oregano in a bowl and sprinkle sparingly over hot, just-melted grilled halloumi cheese and eat immediately.
For more information visit rebeccaseal.co.uk