Heirloom Tomatoes and Sumac – a perfect match

Switching from cooler autumn weather in Munich to Dubai’s still summery temperatures with every day sunshine and a perfect blue sea in the close vicinity, I rediscover my love for light, vitamin rich, raw food.
Arabian flavors are a new favorite of mine – recently I incorporated more and more of the traditional ingredients and tastes into my cooking, thanks to the Jumeirah Munich Culinary Week I was proudly part of.
Try this easy to make salad I am now indulging at home quite often, being a fan of pomegranate since ever, this is really delicious and light. We had a similar dish in Munich served to the guests of Designreisen Deli and journalists alike:

HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD with Sumac vinaigrette
2 portions

What to Buy
6 Heirloom tomatoes
2 spring onions (green part)
2 sprigs fresh zaatar
1/2 bunch basil leaves, picked
1/2 pomegranate
1/2 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon agave syrup or acacia honey
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt
1 teaspoon sumac powder

How to Make It
Wash the tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Pick and wash the aromatic basil and zaathar leaves. Slice the spring onion green into very thin stripes and place them for 5 minutes in ice water. Strain them after they have curled up. Open the pomegranate and release the ruby red kernels. Peel the garlic clove and mash it with the salt using the flat side of a knife. Mix balsamic vinegar, agave syrup, sumac, olive oil and garlic mash to a vinaigrette. Arrange the tomatoes on plates, garnish with the aromatic leaves, spring onions, and pomegranate. Drizzle generously the dressing over the salad, sprinkle some extra sumac over it and enjoy! 

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Sumac is a red powder with a taste resembling of citrus fruits. It is made from the fruits of shrub called rhus and a very popular ingredient in Middle eastern cuisine. It is perfect in salads to add that special fruity fresh note.
Zaatar is a strong aromatic herb from the oregano family. I love to use it fresh in salads and in dishes with potoes and green beans! It supports digestion, has antiseptic properties and provides chlorophyll.

By the way …. In Munich we met Bavarian institution, Chef Alfons Schuhbeck in his famous place “Das Platzl”, where guests can indulge in an extensive speciality tea shop, well stocked spice shop, very special chocolates, home made ice cream (with fancy flavors like lichee pepper pistachio or Wies’n beer – which I gave a try of course – yum), a  relaxed coffee shop and his famous gourmet restaurant and cookery school. I am now even prouder to have had the chance to cook twice next to him at Germany’s well known Friday night cooking show “Lanz kocht” !