The Spice Route: Louisa Shafia on Sumac

I’m happy to introduce and welcome my friend Louisa Shafia of Lucid Foods and the author of a really amazing cookbook by the same name to The Spice Route. I can’t wait to try out her recipe below. I hope you enjoy!


Name: Louisa Shafia
Where do you live? Brooklyn, NY
What do you love to do? Show people how tasty and beautiful healthy food can be.

What’s your spice? Sumac

What do you know about it?

Sumac is a dried berry that has a sour taste and a high vitamin C content. It’s used a lot in Mediterranean cuisine and throughout the Middle East as a garnish to give food a sour flavor. Sumac is delicious on everything from kebabs to cooked whole grains. Even though it’s used in other parts of the world, sumac grows wild throughout North America. In August through September, the berries appear like bright red cones on the lemon-scented leaves of this shrub. You can distinguish edible sumac from the poison sumac plant because the berries of poison sumac are white. After you pick the berries, crush them lightly and use them fresh, or dry them and store in an airtight container.
What do you like about it? I discovered sumac in Persian cuisine. It’s usually used as a garnish for fish. I love the sour taste, and it the red powder makes a perfect garnish for lots of foods.
What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe using it? Seared tempeh with sumac (recipe can be used for chicken as well and that is what is pictured below)
Pin It
  • parisbreakfast

    Must try this with the Tempeh that’s been starring at me in the fridge for weeks and weeks. I’d love to add Sumac into my flavor palette.
    merci carolg