Tahini Sumac Slaw

May 30, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 4 side dish servings
Author Notes

Heidi Swanson's "lemony" dressing was one of my favorites- tahini, lots of lemon, creamy yet pungent. I was inspired to add honey and sumac after Lynne Rossetto Kasper chided a caller on the Splendid Table for not using his imported sumac. I like this dressing served over cabbage as a slaw. It makes a wonderful topping for kebab, gyro and a great side for grilled lamb. Pomegranates make a great addition when they are in season! —Hilarybee

What You'll Need
  • Tahini Sumac Dressing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Slaw
  • 3 cups napa cabbage, cut into 1/2" ribbons (about one head of cabbage))
  • 1 1/2 cups savoy cabbage, 1/2" ribbons (about half a head)
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional but good when in season)
  1. Whisk together the tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice and ground sumac. Drizzle in the boiling water while whisking. Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil, whisking vigorously to create a creamy emulsion. Add salt to taste.
  2. Combine the cabbage ribbons and onion in a large bowl. Combine with 3/4 of the dressing, coating the greens well. Arrange avocado slices on top, then drizzle the remaining dressing on top of the avocado and greens. Top with pomegranate seeds.
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Dedicated locavore. I spend my weekends on the back roads (often lost!) looking for the best ingredients Ohio has to offer. I am often accompanied by my husband, Mr. Radar and our dog, Buddy. Born in West Virginia, raised in Michigan, I moved to Ohio for college and have lived there on and off since. I love to meet farmers and local producers. Cooking is an extension of this love. You can follow my move from government analyst to cottage industrialist and view the food I cook for my personal mad scientist on

15 Reviews

Chloroph August 21, 2017
So, I followed the recipe exactly and brought it to a lake-house gathering, where it received many accolades. But one guest said she was sensitive to the red onion. So I decided to make again with a exactly 4 tiny tweaks. I soaked the red onion sliced for 20 minutes and drained them to tame them.
I added freshly ground black pepper to the dressing and a small handful of finely chopped anise. to the cabbage mix. Finally, I sprinkled slightly less than a some minced lemon-basil leaves picked from my garden over the whole thing I tossed it. Wow, the flavors blended perfectly and just popped! Really, I think it was that little bit of fennel added that special something. This is going on my permanent rotation!
Melanie August 19, 2017
I only had Napa and green cabbage, and used golden raisins, soaked for a few minutes in hot water, instead of pomegranate seeds. Still delicious! Also added roasted sunflower seeds to garnish. Going in the vegan rotation.
Hannah M. June 13, 2014
Made this (again) yesterday. It's definitely a firm favourite. My sister is a super picky eater, but even she snuck a bite. Pomegranate seeds on anything pretty much has me before I read any further and luckily they don't really have a specific season where I live, so yay for that. I will definitely make this again. And again... and again...
Ruth M. April 8, 2014
Just made and ate this, and it was delicious! Didn't have pomegranate so I used sultanas instead.
Hilarybee April 12, 2014
Glad you enjoyed it. I hadn't thought about adding raisins; sounds like a smart sub.
bricolage March 16, 2014
This was fantastic -- especially after the onions had time to mingle. Didnt have any sumac but was still really good. Will def try to hunt some down.
Hilarybee April 12, 2014
glad you enjoyed it!
Ken W. July 30, 2013
I made this today and it was great. No pomegranate seeds here in Singabore so I sprinkled on some extra sumac!
Hilarybee August 1, 2013
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
susan G. July 29, 2013
I made this a few days ago, and have been enjoying it. It seemed on the dry side, so today I splashed in some buttermilk and mixed it all together, which I enjoyed. Now that I'm looking back at the recipe, I wonder if I left out the oil! Next time I will remember the oil, and might use some buttermilk also...
Hilarybee July 30, 2013
It should be really creamy. I've never found a need to add any dairy or anything to it. Try it with the olive oil, if it is still too dry for your taste, add an extra tablespoon or two of olive oil.
Ken W. July 29, 2013
I'm going to make this today!

Hilarybee July 29, 2013
thank you!
healthierkitchen July 16, 2013
Hilarybee July 18, 2013
Thank you!