Chargrilled Eggplant Salad With Tomatoes and Sumac

Posted on by on April 15th, 2011 | 14 Comments »

Sumac is something I never cooked with back in the States. I wanted to once, but wasn’t able to find it anywhere. When I came to Israel, it was everywhere. The first chance I had, (which was my first day here and I made my husband take me to the spice market-yes this is what I was most interested in) I bought a bag of it and have been looking for different ways to use it ever since.

From Israeli food to Arab, Iranian, Lebanese and Turkish cuisine, sumac is used frequently throughout the Middle East. This extraordinary spice enhances flavors of food without overpowering them. If you are not familiar with middle eastern food, sumac is something that you should try and seek out at ethnic markets. Sumac is made from crushing dried sumac berries and it’s tangy and sourish taste makes it a popular selection for salads, meats, rices and garnish for mezze.

I love when basic ingredients come together to make something that has a complex flavor. Sumac lends a hand in this salad, helping to enhance the natural flavors of the vegetables, giving them a lemony flavor. The char grilled eggplant against the sweet tomatoes and crunchy red onions is the perfect light lunch. It just tastes like spring. If you understand what I mean by ‘tastes like spring’ then this salad may just be for you.

I hope that wherever you are in the world you will be able to find this tangy, purplish red spice that I have come to love and use so often.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 Eggplants, Cut into rounds
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Large Ripe Tomatoes, Cut into wedges
1 Large Red Onion, Sliced Thin
4 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, Chopped
3 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
2 Teaspoons Sumac
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste


Season eggplant with salt and pepper. Using 2 Tablespoons of the oil, brush the eggplant rounds on both sides.
Over an open flame chargrill eggplant for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
When eggplant rounds are cool enough to handle cut them into quarters.
In a serving bowl place eggplant, tomato wedges, and onion.
Sprinkle with the chopped mint, oregano and sumac.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together remaining olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle over the salad and toss.

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  1. Posted on: 4-15-2011

    Your salad looks so healthy and delicious…I will track down some sumac!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 4-16-2011

      Thanks Liz! You should be able to find sumac at a middle eastern or ethnic food market!

  2. Posted on: 4-15-2011

    I smell Mediterranean! I love eggplants!! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 4-16-2011

      Giulietta, I love eggplant too!! One of my favorite veggies!

  3. Posted on: 4-15-2011

    So! Now I’m on a mission to find sumac in the Cayman Islands. It’ll be like Mission Impossible I’m sure…motorcyle and all but this looks so awesome I’m sure I will persevere. Thanks for sharing!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 4-16-2011

      Parsley Sage, finding sumac in the cayman islands does sound like mission impossible! But one never knows. You can probably buy it online too!

  4. Posted on: 4-15-2011

    Hi Beth! I’ve never heard of Sumac before, but you surely know how to make a beautiful salad and I’m sure the taste is fabulous too! Have a great weekend!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 4-16-2011

      Thanks Nami!! There is nothing like a beautiful salad that gets you excited for lunch!

  5. Posted on: 4-16-2011

    I’v never cooked with Sumac either, but you make it look wonderful! Lovely pics.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 4-16-2011

      Thanks egb! Once you start using sumac you’re hooked!

  6. Posted on: 4-16-2011

    Mmm great salad! I have never had sumac before but I think I can find it here! I’ll check! Eggplant are my favorite vegetable!!! I agree with you… simple ingredients can make amazing dishes when they are good!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 4-16-2011

      Thanks Manu! Let me know if you are able to find it and try out this salad. i also have a bunch more fantastic recipes using sumac to share!!

  7. Posted on: 5-10-2011

    wow! Thanks to Manu I got introduced to your amazing blog. I love how you use sumac. We Persians only know how to use it with grilled meat, but in a salad seems great. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  8. Posted on: 1-16-2012

    This salad looks so meditteranean and delicious – very exotic
    And I am a total sucker for chargrilled, spiced eggplant (aaah my Indian blood :D)

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