Sunday, April 18, 2010


This one fed Billie, took a walk down to the beach for my friend Miream's birthday picnic, returned home to be reheated and mashed for Billie's dinner, and then finally was reheated and topped with chopped walnuts for my dinner. All in a day's work.

Did you guess what it was? Probably not. This dish I can say was entirely my invention. However, I haven't googled it to see how many others have come to the same conclusion. I first made it last month after I rifled through our cluttered spice shelf and came across a large unopened bag of SUMAC. I had a feeling it would go with lentils and roast vegetables - which were already underway.

Billie started with pieces of the sumac-roasted pumpkin and courgette, which were soft enough for her to manage. For dinner she had it all mushed up into what I would call a delicious dip (I kept the cheese aside for me though, as it's pretty salty). Billie loved it. And so did the birthday Bronte picnic folk.

Please check Ingredient of the Week page for more info on sumac.


1/2 cup lentils (preferably French black ones but green/brown is fine)
1 cup cold water
1/4 pumpkin
1 carrot
1 courgette
1 red onion
1/2 lime or lemon
1 block feta or halloumi
olive oil
2 heaped tblspns SUMAC

Cut vegetables into bite-sized chunks and rub with oil and spices. Keep courgette aside, spread out the rest in a single layer in an oven tray and bake in hot oven until soft and crispy. Cook the courgettes separately a bit later as they don't take as long. Meanwhile, put lentils and water in small pot with lid and bring to simmer. Reduce heat and slowly simmer with lid on for about 20 mins, or until water gone. Remove from pot immediately to avoid lentils going mushy. Combine with roasted vegetables and drizzle a little more olive oil and juice of 1/2 lemon or lime. If taking salad on picnic etc, crumble feta over and stir gently. If eating at home or close to a stove, fry up thick slices of halloumi. It must be eaten hot so only prepare cheese just before serving. Use non-stick pan with NO oil, or cast iron pan with a little oil. Fry til golden on both sides and drizzle with other half of lemon or lime and add to salad.


  1. Hi Sarah, loved your story of Billies eating habits. Feel inspired to use sumac myself in a lentil dish-yum.
    Enjoy being an inspirational foodie. We are enjoying our current harvest of feijoas and guavas. love Nana

  2. ohh fejoas...they're really not sold in Australia. I found some on the footpath under a laden tree and gave Billie a taste. Wish I could give her more.

  3. Maisie absolutely loved the sumac roasted veggies and so did Dan and I with the added lentils and halloumi. This was quite an achievement with Dan as he really is quite the carnivore, Maisie definitely isn't so we will be trying many more of your recipes to limit cooking multiple meals!!!
    Amanda x

  4. Excellent - great to hear Amanda. Actually, I made this again yesterday for a friend up from Melbourne.
    This time I used ricotta - uncooked - and it went down a treat. Billie enjoyed her first taste of this terrific light cheese