Top answers included turmeric, tarragon, marjoram, and cardamom. But, one of the most interesting came from Jen Peters, author of The Eco Table, who said in the comments: "sumac. it's local to wisconsin, but i've only used it a few times."
That really got us thinking. And we decided that it's about time we talked a little about sumac.
After all, we have something of a love affair going on with it. We use it on a fairy regular basis, especially as summer approaches -- as a seasoning for lamb kebabs, fish filets and grilled chicken, a topping for crackers and flatbreads, and as an ingredient in salad dressing. And so it seems a shame not to share.
Sumac's tart flavor means we use it almost anywhere you could use a splash of lemon juice -- on a sliced tomato, or sprinkled on salmon or grilled vegetables.
We're also pretty nutty about the spice blend za'atar, which we use pretty regularly as a seasoning for hummus. The blend we buy from the Spice House here in Milwaukee contains sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, hyssop and oregano.
One of our favorite ways to use za'atar is on roasted potatoes. And it's not just because they're such a pretty purple-ish red color before they go into the oven.
Just toss small halved or quartered potatoes, along with a small chopped onion, with a liberal amount of olive oil, sprinkle with za'atar and roast in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. The potatoes will crisp up, the onions will brown slightly and sweeten, and that za'atar will impart a pleasantly sour, citrusy flavor with a hint of woodsy herbal flavor. These gorgeous potatoes are delicious served alongside a nice roast or next to a burger. But, they're equally wonderful when diced a bit more finely and served up as breakfast potatoes.
Got any favorite ways to use sumac? Or za'atar?
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