Last summer, Mat and I spent two beautiful and eye-opening weeks in Turkey. Given we both enjoy cooking and love trying new things, the Grand Bazar was one of our highlights. OK, the constant haggling was intense and our bargaining technique most likely left the shopkeepers laughing… But once we got used to the overwhelming sights, sounds and smells, we were able to stock up on spices, dried fruit and tea. Since then, Mat has been inventing all kinds of ways to use the spice mixes he chose (he’s great at improvising that way), whereas I was just waiting to find a great recipe to use my sumac – the one spice I was adamant about getting from the Bazaar. Here it is kids!
I found this sugar snap salad recipe in the July edition of Bon Appétit and was drawn to it even before knowing there was any sumac in there. Oh how happy it made me when I saw it was centre stage in the dressing! And wouldn’t you know it, just a few pages later, I found an 8-page spread on Turkish cuisine. I have to say, I ♥ my Bon Appétit.
From Bon Appétit, July 2011 issue
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1 ½ lb sugar snap peas, trimmed, stringed and cut on the diagonal
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice (or more if desired)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sumac (a lemony Mediterranean spice) plus more for garnish (in my case, it was lots more )
1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
4 oz. ricotta salata or feta, crumbled (ricotta salata is salted aged ricotta, which resembles feta but is firmer and less salty)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp coarsely chopped mint
Blanch peas in boiling water about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl filled with water and lots of ice to prevent the peas from cooking any more and preserve the bright green colour. Dry peas on kitchen towels.
To make the dressing, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and vinegar and half of the sumac. Toss the peas, radishes, cheese and mint together in a large bowl. Add the dressing and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle the rest of the sumac on top.