I just returned from a trip to Jordan and among the wonderful, very fresh, beautiful food -- many grilled meats and veg -- were delightful and refreshing salads. In the cool months, lettuces are mixed with thinly sliced cabbage, which gives the salad some heft, small cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and onions. The mixture is tossed with olive oil and lemon juice, then sprinkled with sumac.
The dark red, ground berries from the sumac bush are tart, slightly hot, and a wonderful note on crisp vegetables. Sumac also appears on grilled meats, hummus, and a faintly smoky eggplant puree something like baba ghanouj.
Winter salad with cabbage
1 romaine lettuce heart, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 firm green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
2 small cucumbers, very thinly sliced
5 small tomatoes, sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 red or Spanish onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon sumac, or to taste
1. In a bowl, combine the lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and onion.
2. Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss gently.
3. Sprinkle with sumac. Sheryl Julian
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.