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A platter of Israeli spiced tomato salad with cucumber yogurt sauce and chickpeas.

Sumac-Spiced Tomato and Chickpea Salad with Yogurt Sauce


Adapted from Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons

A Few Notes:

  • I love toasting whole cumin and coriander seeds, then grinding them with my mortar and pestle. If you wish to do this, too: toast the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they begin browning and smoking; transfer immediately to your mortar; grind with your pestle till fine.
  • This may sound odd given the title includes “Israeli-spiced,” but consider any or all of the spices optional. This salad would be delicious simply with salt and pepper.
  • Sumac can be hard to find. I ordered mine online but have since found it at various local markets.
  • As you know, I prefer to cook beans from scratch. Here’s my favorite bean-cooking method: How to Cook Beans or Chickpeas from Scratch: Brining Method


For the yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 or 2 small cucumbers
  • kosher salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from about half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic minced

For the salad:

  • 1 teaspoon sumac (see notes above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 large beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 handful of arugula
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar (white balsamic, red wine, white wine, champagne)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Good bread for serving


  1. Grate the cucumber coarsely on a box grater. In a medium bowl, stir the cucumber into the yogurt, along with the garlic and the lemon. Season with salt, starting with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, adding more by the 1/4 teaspoon to taste. Add more lemon to taste as well — this sauce should taste nicely seasoned. Spread this yogurt sauce onto a large platter.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the sumac, coriander, cumin, and dried chile flakes.
  3. Slice the tomatoes and arrange over the yogurt sauce in an even layer. Season all over with the spice rub. Season generously with sea salt (kosher salt is fine, too). Season with freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, onion, and chickpeas with a good pinch of flaky sea salt, pepper to taste, and the olive oil and vinegar. Taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Add the arugula and toss gently. Spread this salad atop the tomatoes. Serve, being sure to include each of the elements — the yogurt sauce, the tomatoes, the chickpea salad — with each serving.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Dress
  • Cuisine: Israeli

Keywords: tomato, salad, Israeli, spiced, sumac, cumin, coriander, cucumber, yogurt, arugula, chickpeas