Fresh Herb Salad with Sumac Shallots
This palate-cleansing salad is the perfect starter or side dish for your fall table. The base consists of cucumber ribbons, fresh herbs, scallions, and wedges of crisp Little Gem lettuce. The star of the show are the shallots, which get quickly marinated in vinegar and sumac, a spice common in Middle Eastern cooking that’s bright, tangy, citrusy yet a little earthy.
- 1 large shallot paper thin slices
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (can substitute red wine vinegar or white vinegar)
- A couple pinches kosher salt or 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 heads Little Gem lettuce
- 1 large English cucumber
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry roasted almonds, chopped (for nut-free, substitute roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds or hemp seeds)
- 2 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Marinate the shallots. Mix together the shallots with the sumac, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Use your hands to combine and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes.
Shaved the cucumber into ribbons using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler. Slice the Little Gem lettuce heads into quarters.
In a bowl, combine the shaved cucumbers, parsley, mint, and scallions. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice and gently toss to combine.
Transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl. Top with the quartered lettuce heads. Spread the marinated shallot slices on top and scatter around the chopped almonds. Toss gently and serve.