Looking for a way to stretch those end of season summer tomatoes. An excellent choice is this Turkish Style Tomato and Onion Salad. The fresh tomatoes and bright notes of lemon make this salad as refreshing as it is delicious. If you’re not familiar with sumac as a spice, I think you should give it a try. It adds a flavorful tang to any dish it is part of.
Perfect in a Tomato and Onion Salad, ground sumac is a spice that is popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. It is the dried and ground berries of the sumac plant. There are over 200 varieties of sumac worldwide. While your backyard variety is probably edible, it is not actually the source of the sumac spice.
The spice sumac comes from a specific variety of sumac tree. That variety is common from southern Italy across to Central Asia. The bright red berries are dried and ground. The resulting spice has a sharp taste with strong hints of lemon. It is often used in salads and savory dishes. Sumac is an element of the Middle Eastern Spice blend za’atar, along with sesame seeds and thyme. Finally, the bright red color makes for a nice garnish. Another dish that incorporates sumac is this roasted eggplant dish.
Once difficult to find, sumac is becoming easier to come by. I buy mine at a local Middle Eastern market that carries a wide selection of herbs and spices. I know that several of the larger chains in the northeast carry it now. And off course, it is always available online.
This Turkish Inspired Tomato and Onion Salad is as fresh and delicious as it comes! Before tomato season ends, you need to try this salad now.
Turkish Inspired Tomato and Onion Salad
- 2 large tomatoes halved and cut in 8 – 10 wedges per half
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and sumac
- Add the onion slices and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the onions to soften a bit in the dressing.
- Add tomato wedges and parsley and toss it all together to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste