I first properly encountered sumac during my last Vegan Mofo, where I experimented with it during an A to Z of foods I'd never tried before. Sumac made an appearance right at the end, where it played a starring role in my first ever foray into za'atar.
It's been a bit unloved in my spice rack ever since, which is a shame, given it's a lovely flavour.
Handily a recent copy of Vegetarian Living magazine served as inspiration, with a recipe for sumac aubergine schnitzel and feta tabbouleh (you can guess which element of the feta tabbouleh got jettisoned at high speed). While I can't find the original on the Vegetarian Living site, there's a reprint of it here, minus the tabbouleh.
It's not a vegan recipe, but you can easily make it so - ditch the egg for the slurry of your choice (mine's just flour or cornflour and water), and replace the parmesan with some nooch. Other than that, it's just a matter of mixing some breadcrumbs with sumac, mint, nooch, lemon zest and herbs, and slapping it on a thick slice of aubergine (or eggplant, if you're that way inclined).
The tabbouleh wasn't any kind of relation to tabbouleh that I'd ever heard of: puy lentils, red onion, tomato, mint, parsley, cinnamon and allspice. Still, it made a fine pair with the schnitzel.
The original recipe called for the schnitzel to be fried, but I decided to bake it instead. The middle didn't quite get the squidgy middle it was clearly crying out for, so I guess those recipe writers know what they're talking about!
But the dish was so fresh and light, I still think it was a winner. Got a good sumac recipe? Point me in its direction!