Sumac is the best-kept secret of spices. It comes from a species of Sumac tree native to the Middle East and North Africa. The taste is subtle, so it’s best eaten raw. Persians simply sprinkle it on meats right on the plate, adding a slightly sour lemony taste. You can find it at spice shops and Middle Eastern specialty stores.
I make this salad dressing in large batches in a mini-blender, so it lasts a few weeks. The onions actually improve (as in become less spicy and more sweet) in the lemon juice as it sits in the fridge. It tastes amazing on salads, falafel, french fries, or just as a dip. The amount of lemon juice should be almost the same as the other wet ingredients. Use equal portions of olive oil and tahini. If you blend it, stir in the sumac at the end so it doesn’t lose its texture.
Sumac Salad Dressing
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Onion, blended until smooth
- Honey (optional)
Filed under food, vegetarian
Hummus is very easy to make, but if you really want to start from scratch it takes some time. Sure, you can just open a can of chick peas and throw them in the food processor. But soaking or sprouting your own makes them much easier to digest, not to mention the avoidance of BPA. (For a great sprouting how-to, see Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Tradions).
Photo by Kaela Greenstein*
To cook dry chick peas, start the night (or better a full day) before by soaking your beans. Add lots of water, as they will expand a lot. A cup of dry beans will yield two cups or more when cooked. Rinse them well. You can then cook them in a crock-pot on high for about 4 hours (for a big batch), or on a low setting of your stove. A small batch should only take a couple hours. They are done when they are almost falling apart, but not quite.
After the beans cool, for each cup add the following and blend:
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
My favorite way to serve hummus is to spread it on a plate with copious amounts of olive oil, olives, thyme, and chili flakes. You can also add more lemon at this point as the tartness of the lemon sometimes recedes in the mix.
*Check out more of Kaela’s delicious photography
This is the perfect recipe for winter because you can literally substitute any vegetables in and it tastes great, thanks to all the cheese. The more vegetables you add, the more exciting each serving will be. My favorite variation includes brusell sprouts cut into fourths, green onion and bacon. Needless to say, this recipe can be quite easily converted to fit an herbivore diet. I like an egg-heavy quiche, but if you want something a bit lighter, add an extra 1/2 cup of milk and leave out a few eggs.
The crust comes from one of my favorite food blogs: chocolate and zucchini. To make the mini-crusts, follow the dough recipe*, divide the dough in half, roll it out and cut it into twelfths with a sharp knife. It takes a little bit of manipulating, but each piece will fit it into a muffin hole (muffin cavity?). This recipe will make crusts for 24 mini-quiches.
*It calls for 250 g of flour, but 2 cups is pretty close.
- 7 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 3 slices of prosciutto, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup broccoli flowers
- 1/2 cup cauliflower flowers
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- dried sage
- salt and pepper
Lightly fry the vegetables in butter, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of sage or oregano right before you turn it off. Lightly beat the eggs, milk and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add most of the cheese, and the prosciutto.
Arrange the vegetables in the crusts and pour the egg mixture on top. Here, I used less shredded cheese and put chunks of soft cheese in with the vegetables. Sprinkle that extra cheese you put aside on top. Bake for 25 minutes at 400°.