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Sumac Cucumbers

Sumac Cucumbers Pair crisp cucumber slices with tangy sumac, fresh parsley, lemon, and a generous helping of olive oil to make fresh Persian sumac cucumbers. And for all you cucumber lovers, try cucumber beet salad or cucumber carrot salad!

A serving bowl of sumac cucumbers.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

An image showing the ingredients for sumac cucumbers.
  • Cucumber: Look for firm, crisp cucumbers without soft spots or blemishes. Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers work well for this recipe.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice from one lemon is all you need for a nice pop of acidity. Other recipes use red wine vinegar or pomegranate molasses for tartness.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley adds color to the salad and compliments the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Spices: Generously season fresh cucumbers with Middle Eastern sumac and salt. Sumac is a floral spice found online and in health stores. However, I recommend visiting a local Middle Eastern store to explore; the ground-up sumac berries give the dish its signature color and flavor. 
  • Olive Oil: Be generous with the olive oil; since it is a prominent ingredient, I recommend using high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS

If you want to add extra flavor to your sumac cucumbers, include diced tomatoes, finely chopped red onions, or fresh fresh mint leaves. If you prefer more heat, add a touch of ground Aleppo pepper.

HOW TO MAKE SUMAC CUCUMBER 

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Add the ingredients to a serving bowl and massage to combine for about 2-3 minutes.

Taste and season with sumac. Then, cover and set it aside for at least 30 minutes before serving.

EXPERT TIPS

  • Use a sharp knife or a mandoline to slice the cucumbers into thin rounds.
  • Let the sumac cucumbers marinate for at least 30 minutes; this allows the flavors to penetrate the cucumber slices more effectively.

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A serving bowl of sumac cucumbers with sliced lemon.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

Sumac marinated cucumbers often accompany chicken and red meat dishes but they also act as a garnish for sandwiches, salad, and soup; brighten any meal with this healthy side dish.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • Refrigerate  Store the leftovers in an airtight container; sumac cucumbers will keep for 4-5 days.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Should I peel the cucumbers?

Peeling the cucumbers is entirely up to your personal preference. The peel is edible and contains additional nutrients and fiber. However, some people prefer the texture and appearance of peeled cucumbers. If you choose to peel them, use a vegetable peeler.

What is sumac?

Sumac ‘summāq’ means ‘dark red’ in Arabic. Sumac is a spice commonly used throughout the Middle East to top popular meals like fattoush or sumac onions; it comes from sumac berries, which are dried and ground into a coarse red powder for culinary purposes.

What does sumac taste like?

Like lemons, sumac is tart and slightly sweet. The spice is a perfect way to acidity to any meal without citrus.

What are the benefits of sumac?

According to an article written by contributors for Lebanese International University, studies show that sumac contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, and the spice is helpful for meat tenderization and preservation.

MORE MEDITERRANEAN RECIPES:

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A serving bowl of sumac cucumbers.

Sumac Cucumbers

Tressa Jamil
Pair crisp cucumber slices with tangy sumac, fresh parsley and lemon, and a generous helping of olive oil to make fresh Persian sumac cucumbers.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 775 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 5-6 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced into rounds, or 1-2 English Cucumbers
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sumac, ground
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
 
  • Add the ingredients to a serving bowl and massage to combine for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Taste and season with more sumac. Then, cover and set it aside for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Use a sharp knife or a mandoline to slice the cucumbers into thin rounds.
  • Let the sumac cucumbers marinate for at least 30 minutes; this allows the flavors to penetrate the cucumber slices more effectively.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 775 kcal | Carbohydrates: 10 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 5 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g | Sodium: 206 mg | Potassium: 186 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 8 IU | Vitamin C: 89 mg | Calcium: 5 mg | Iron: 8 mg
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