It’s fun dipping into the wild pantry to add zest and flavor to dishes. For this middle Eastern tabouli recipe, I dipped into the pantry not once, but twice. In addition to this tangy sumac seasoning, I stripped some dried mint leaves off a bundle I have hanging in my kitchen and crumbled those in. (Though it will be up soon, mint has not yet appeared in my neck of the woods - Western PA.)
The fun thing about sumac is that even if you missed harvesting it last fall, it’s available all winter. As long as you can find those red bundles on the otherwise bare trees, you can harvest and use sumac, which tastes fresh and lemony and is high in vitamin C.
Last fall I dried some sumac clusters, broke them up in the food processor, then sifted out the hard seeds through a strainer. This makes a sour seasoning that is perfect to add to dishes like fatoush, tabouli and hummus.
Today I made raw tabouli salad (without grains), but you could easily add a cup of cooked quinoa, cracked wheat or cous cous to the salad to turn it into a more traditional tabouli. For fatoush, simply add small pieces of toasted pita into the salad.
Raw Tabouli Salad
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cucumber, seeds removed (and saved for smoothies or juices), chopped
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp dried sumac seasoning
- bunch of parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp dried mint, crumbled and added
- 1 Tbsp (or more, to taste) onion, chopped very small
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle olive oil (about 1 Tbsp)
Mix all ingredients and enjoy.
Think happy thoughts….it’s March 1 and spring is sure to be upon us soon. To those of you who have access to maple trees: now is the time to tap them for their wonderful sap. Soon another wild year will be upon us!
~ Melissa Sokulski
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