Beet and Sumac Salad

"This Middle Eastern winter salad with a creamy, nutty taste and a delicious bite of onions, flavored with sumac and lemon," writes Jake Tilson, "is a great addition to a mezze supper." Sumac, a purple-hued spice that's ground from the dried berries of the sumac tree, has a sour, almost astringent, bite. It's used widely all over the eastern Mediterranean as a flavoring and souring agent, in such preparations as hummus and the ubiquitous sliced onions that accompany grilled meat dishes.

Beet and Sumac Salad
This Middle Eastern winter salad has a creamy, nutty taste and a delicious bite of onions, flavored with sumac and lemon.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 unpeeled large beets
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. ground sumac
  • 2 handfuls arugula leaves
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flat bread, such as lavash
  • Marinated olives

Instructions

  1. Cook beets in a large pan of gently boiling water until tender, 30–40 minutes. (Add a drop or two of red wine vinegar to help set the beets' color.) Drain the beets and let cool. Peel the beets, then cut them into quarters and thinly slice.
  2. Put the sliced beets, sumac, arugula, and red onion into a serving bowl.
  3. Mix yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently. Serve with a flat bread, such as lavash, and marinated olives, if you like.