Lovely green beans, juicy tomatoes, and almonds spiced with our favorite -the deep red sumac. A dish full of flavor and crunch.
This recipe came together on a whim; my inspiration was the fresh beans and the new bag of sumac I got. A very spontaneous recipe, not too many ingredients – but it did result in a full burst of flavors with the sesame, olive oil and of course sumac. This makes a perfect healthy and quick weeknight side dish, but I am sure you will like it enough for a backyard party or a nice side for a potluck.
Here are some -
SUMAC: a very intriguing spice…
We love sumac! Bright, tart and lemony is how I would describe it. Sumac is used extensively in the Middle Eastern, Central Asia and Arabic Cuisine, to be sprinkled on the rice, kebabs, hummus and salads and also sometimes on lentils and vegetables. Sumac is also one of the main spices in Zahtar. The spice is derived from the berry of a plant called Rhus coriaria (not to be confused with Rhus toxicodendron/Poison Ivy). This tree grows wild in the Middle East and in certain parts of Italy. The spice is also known as “Sicilian sumac,” “sumaq” or “sumach,” and other similar variations.
The dark red powdered berries have a light lemony flavor and are is sour in taste. Sumac has the effect of astringent on food and can be used as a substitute for lemon or vinegar. Apart from the taste and flavor it also adds a lovely red tinge to a dish.
Warning! The sumac that grows in America is an ornamental shrub and is inedible: in fact it is highly toxic!
Buying and storing
- It’s best to buy whole seeds to preserve the flavor longer;
- whole or ground, sumac seeds should be kept in a tightly closed container away from light and heat.(SOURCE)
and some GREEN BEANS
I have not chopped the beans. My kids love the beans long like a “stick” ! The cut ones will taste the same. If you ever make this, use the beans the way you prefer.
Green Beans Tomatoes and Almonds with Sumac
- 40-50 whole green beans, trimmed, washed
- 15 cherry tomatoes, or whatever kind you want to use
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- a pinch of red chili pepper flakes
- a good lug of olive oil
- a big fistful of almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 teaspoons sumac (or adjust amount to your taste)
Toast the almonds in a large skillet over medium heat in a splash of olive oil. Add some salt and allow them to turn golden, remove from heat, and set aside.
In a pan add oil and the pepper flakes. After a few seconds add the garlic and the sesame seeds.
When the garlic is light golden and fragrant, add the beans, tomatoes and salt; toss well, cover and cook till the beans are cooked but crunchy.
Uncover and mush the tomatoes with the back of the spoon to release the juice. Increase the heat and and add the almonds and sumac. Give everything in the pan a good toss and switch off the heat.
Serve warm as a side dish.
Spontaneous it was, but I was floored by the flavor and the texture of this dish. We all love sumac; however this is the first time I have used sumac in a vegetarian dish, with some apprehension. But my fears were calmed by the beauty of it all.