So I set off to find another delicious way to use the sumac that makes a Fattoush (Traditional Middle Eastern Salad) so delicious. You see, I really want you to seek some out and the fact that I just might be a tiny bit smitten to sumac's earthy sourness, well, that might not be enough so, well, will another temptation help? :-)
But what I accidentally happened onto was another contribution to a meze (also spelled mezze and pronounced [MEZ-ay]). It's a happy style of casual eating, a few dishes, full of flavor and texture and -- let's be truthful here -- lots of garlic. Just one meze-style dish we might call an 'appetizer' but with a handful of different dishes, that would be a meal. It's easy to imagine sitting cross-legged on Turkish rugs eating this stuff but in my world, the kitchen table does just fine. A picnic blanket outdoors some fine fall day? That would be heaven.
Other meze-style dishes would be Simple Hummus (homemade, please, and with enough oil to be creamy), Baba Ganoush (the eggplant spread, pronounced [ba-ba ga-NOOSH], a platter of No-Cook Tabbouleh (the couscous salad, pronounced [TAA-boo-lay]) , a few olives, cubes of good feta cheese, perhaps a few thin slices of sausage. OH -- and pita bread, especially if thin and warm and full of whole-grain wholesomeness. (St. Louisans, look for the gorgeous whole-wheat pita from Sanabel Bakery found at Global Foods in Kirkwood.)
CAN THE BEET SALAD STAND ALONE? I was unimpressed by the salad all on its own (and you know me, I'm the "Beet Queen" and usually love beets of all descriptions) but couldn't get enough paired with the yogurt sauce and good pita bread.
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KITCHEN PARADE, LAST WEEK
RECIPE for BEET SALAD with SUMAC, YOGURT & PITA
Time to table: 15 minutes (if beets are pre-cooked)
BEETS (can be made in advance)
2 cups cooked beets diced small (see TIPS)
2 tablespoons red onion diced small
1 teaspoon sumac
Salt & pepper to taste
YOGURT SAUCE (can be made in advance and gets more garlicky when you do that)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used labnah, an extra-thick yogurt)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
A few greens
BEETS Stir together all ingredients. The smaller the dice, the easier it is to scoop up the beets with the pita bread.
YOGURT SAUCE Stir together all ingredients.
TO SERVE Arrange the beet salad on a platter. Place the yogurt sauce in a small bowl alongside, sprinkle with additional sumac. Tear pita bread into pieces and arrange alongside. Dig in!
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
This is My Favorite Way to Roast Beets but for this recipe, I was intrigued by Saveur's suggestion to cook the beets in water, using a splash of red wine vinegar to "set the color". I need to try this again a time or two to see how it makes a difference.
~ My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ~
(photo tutorial with tips & tricks)
~ Beet Pesto ~
~ Beets with Feta ~
~ Swedish Beets ~
~ more beet recipes~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Borscht Beets with Sour Cream ~
~ Those Pink Potatoes ~
~ Karelian Borscht (Russian Beet Borscht Soup) ~
~ more beet recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011