|Photo courtesy of DKS and Greedy Gourmet blogs|
Fattouch - a pretty famous salad we have here in Lebanon - is my favorite salad of all time! It's quite rich in various vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and water because of all the vegetables in it.
If you want the recipe, and I highly recommend giving it a try, you can check Dirty Kitchen Secrets's Beth's post on the Greedy Gourmet blog! The salad is pretty easy to prepare and contains the rainbow you need to include in your plate: lettuce, purslane, mint, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, onions, pomegranate molasses, bread, lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper and Sumac. Some (like my Mom) even throw in pomegranate seeds, parsley, rocket and sometimes cabbage.
Now this salad would not have been the same without Sumac!
Sumac is dried and ground from dark red-purple berries from the sumac bush but could be somewhat hard to find outside the Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Italy. It adds a very tarty astringent delicious taste to any dish whether it is rubbed on meats, potatoes, eggs, hummus, vegetables, in thyme to make our famous zaatar for the man'ouche, in pies (fatayer), in soups or in salads, you name it! It can be added in the cooking process or sprinkled at the end.
If it's not available, it is often replaced by lemon or vinegar, though it is not really as sour; nothing can actually compensate for the rich taste sumac gives!
It is quite rich in antioxidants such as tannins that show antibacterial and antiviral potential; aiding the body to fight diseases. It also contains vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus!
Note that sumac should be bought from a store and not picked from roadsides because some of the bush's varieties could be poisonous.