Tomatoes with sumac dressing

August 6, 2012  •  Category:



These tomatoes are called here jabalieh from jabal which is the word for mountain. They are huge and start appearing now at every stall in every mountain village.

A traditional and scrumptious way to dress them is to slice them and make a sumac dressing: 

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 2 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom
  • 1 tbsp of sumac
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed in a mortar with a dash of salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced (3 or 4 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (3 or 4 tbsp or more, to taste)
  1. Slice the tomatoes; mash the garlic with a dash of salt, and transfer to a small bowl; add the lemon juice and olive oil and whisk with a fork to combine; pour over the tomatoes and serve.

Selling  tomatoes  in Ain Zhalta, Shouf, Lebanon.

Selling fruits, veggies and olive oil on the side of the road


26 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Scrumptious! Sumac has such an interesting flavor.



  2. Eva says:

    Love these tomatoes! Couldn’t get enough of them on a recent trip to Italy, they’re so tasty I could just eat them plain or with a bit of bread. Sadly UK tomatoes just don’t compare, even if they’re organic etc. – it’s the sunshine that makes all the difference!

  3. Ed Habib says:

    You can find these tomato seeds for purchase on the internet. they are listed as Omar’s Lebanese tomatoes. I have 10 plants growing and started getting some tomatoes last week.

    • Joumana says:

      @Ed:Thanks so much ED HABIB!!!

      @Pierre: Great idea!

      @ZHA: Love 7akoora! Spent a summer there years ago and I remember djinn stories we were told!Beautiful region!

      John: My pleasure!

      Kouky: Bises!

      @Nadji: Tu as tout a fait raison, ces tomates se dégustent nature et c’est parfait; ravie d’apprendre que la famille a apprécié ta ashtaliyeh!

    • Eileen Turner says:

      You didn\\\’t say when to add the sumac, should it be sprinkled or should it be added to the dressing? Thanks

  4. Diane says:

    This sounds delicious, not sure where I can get sumac here! Have a good day Diane

  5. Belinda @zomppa says:

    These look like proper tomatoes…with proper tomato flavor. Great twist with the sumac!

  6. john says:

    love the recipe.. It taste good!! It is a good appetizer with Almaza Beer. Cheers, and thanks Joumana for the recipe.:)

  7. ZHA says:

    Ahh, the pictures are so nostalgic, I miss lebnen so much. Thanks for the lovely post! My ultimate favorite meal is fresh tomatoes (min el 7akoora) with hot red chili peppers (kamen min el 7akoora) with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, and of course, fresh khibiz saj (preferably made by grandma :D). ahh, such good memories.

  8. kouky says:

    La beauté et le goût dans la simplicité!! j’adore cette salade et suis très contente d’avoir du sumac,je vais pouvoir la préparer!! merci Joumana!! bises!

  9. Pierre says:

    Sumac is also a great substitute for pepper on fried eggs.

  10. Juliana says:

    I love this tomato salad…so simple and yet so tasty…perfect for the Summer.
    Thanks for this recipe and have a great week Jounama 🙂

  11. josé antonio says:

    Es una buena excusa para usar esa mezcla tan rica de especias, el sumac. Y los tomates son una maravilla.
    Un saludo.

  12. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I happen to have all of the ingredients on hand and fresh tomatoes that are ready to ripen soon. Will definitely be making this!

  13. samir says:

    great summer salad..very tart and fruity. only the best tomatoes and sumac will do!.we make it almost the same but chop the tomotes not to fine..deseeded ..I like this sometimes with a bit of chopped red onion or scallion as well..this goes great with mdardara.. an all time favorite combo for me..

  14. Devaki says:

    What a lovely side. I am going heirloom tomato hunting and making these – the simple elegance of this side is calling to me Joumana. What lovely pics of your hometown!

    chow 🙂 DEVAKI @ weavethousandflavors

  15. Laura@Silkroadgourme says:

    I love this sumac and have had a Persian relative of this salad – it was delicious. Will make it again soon – thanks for the reminder!

  16. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Love tomatoes. Love garlic. Love sumac. Never thought of all three together and cannot wait to try this!

  17. heguiberto says:

    Tomato is absolutely my favorite fruit. We have such an abundance of these right now much more to come as they begin to ripen in the Californian sun. The beauty of the Summer. Thanks for helping us find more use for Sumac! I can see these tomato steaks stuffed into a baguette to serve as a beautiful meal.

  18. Nadji says:

    Des tomates sans calibre, nature, parfumées : elles peuvent même être dégustées nature. Le bonheur.
    Ta ashtalyé fut un moment de bonheur. Toute la famille a eu la recette aussi.
    A bientôt

  19. Barbara says:

    What a gorgeous plate of tomatoes, Joumana! And the sumac vinaigrette is perfection.

  20. Angie@Angiesrecipes says:

    So simple, yet so fresh and delicious!

  21. Oui, Chef says:

    Summer on a plate….it just doesn’t get better than this!

  22. ciaochowlinda says:

    Beautiful tomatoes. I would never have thought to use the sumac here. I never know where to use sumac, so thanks for the new idea.

  23. Susan says:

    We are enjoying a bountiful harvest of tomatoes due to our unusually hot and dry summer this year. You will find no complaints about the weather when we enjoy salads such as this. The only thing missing here is the sumac.

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