Spice of the month: Sumac

Spice of the month: Sumac

By Laura Coffee, Marketing & Owner Services Manager, Co-op Owner

It makes a lovely pink drink!

This months spice is sumac. It manages to be light, delicate, and assertive all at the same time. The citrusy tang of sumac does well in both savory and sweet dishes, paired with other herbs and spices, or all on it’s own. Sumac is also one of the essential flavors in za’atar and an even be used as a dye. It does grow wild in Michigan, but be careful if you go out foraging, as there are poisonous varieties as well. If you would like to sign up for future installments in this monthly series, visit the CRDL website here.

Simple Sumac ‘Lemonade’

  • 8oz cold water
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried sumac
  • 1 tsp honey or sugar

Mix all the ingredients in a glass and allow to steep for five minutes. Stir again, add ice if desired, and enjoy! (The sumac will settle to the bottom of the glass or pitcher. You can strain it out of you want, but personally I don’t bother.)

Sumac Meatballs

Deliciously savory!
  • 12oz ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup cracker crumbs (I used Field Day Water Crackers)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried sumac
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Crush the crackers into fine crumbs. (This can be a fun step for kids to help with.) Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your hands until it becomes uniform. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil. The mixture will be very soft, so it’s actually easier to scoop directly into the pan than to make individual balls. Each scoop should be about 2 Tbsps of mixture. One the bottoms begin to brown, carefully flip each meatball over. Continue to cook on all sides until an internal temperature of 165F is reached. I served mine over Jasmine rice.

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