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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Kornberg

Cooking with Sumac

The best kept secret!

SPICE + LEAF is all about adding flavor to your food! Though matter what your eating lifestyle is, spices can zip up any meal and take it to the next level in taste! You may be surprised to learn that cooking with sumac is a great way to add flavor of your food without using any salt! #spiceon #sumac #saltfree #cookingwithsumac #saltfreecooking

Did you know that cooking with sumac can be one of your secret weapons to adding a ton of flavor to your food and can be easily stored in your pantry. Sumac is a red-ish / purple colored berry and is known for having a lemon-acidic flavor that can replicate the taste of salt without any of the sodium. So if you are trying to watch your sodium intake but don't want to forsake the flavor of your food, try adding some ground sumac to your cooking. You may be surprised, how delicious your food is going to taste! Below is a salad recipe using sumac as one of the key ingredients that pulls this dish together.

Recipe: Cooking with Sumac

Pear Quinoa Salad with Parsley, Mint, Goat Cheese & Sumac

By Debbie Kornberg

(Serves 2 - 4 )


1/2 cup Quinoa, uncooked

1 cups Water

1/2 tsp. + 1 tsp. SPICE + LEAF Sumac

1 D ’Anjou pear, diced small

2 cups Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped

1/3 cup toasted and slivered almonds

3 oz goat cheese, crumbled


Using a pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp. sumac to boiling water. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup quinoa to pot. Mix in and cover pot. Cook on simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off oven but do not open lid of pot and let sit for an additional 12 minutes. Once quinoa is done, place into a bowl and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and blend well. Set aside for quinoa to cool for ~10 – 15 minutes.

While quinoa is cooking, cut pear and place in bowl. Chop parsley and mint and add to bowl with pear. Add sumac and olive oil. Toss everything well. Add quinoa and mix into salad. Add toasted almonds. Add more olive oil if needed and mix again. Then add goat cheese and gently fold into salad. Add a little extra goat cheese to the top of the salad.

Ready to serve! Will keep in frig for a couple of days.

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