A Refreshing Summer Salad: Fattoush

This is a crisp, crunchy and refreshing Lebanese salad to eat with grilled meats all summer long. It requires two unusual ingredients: Purslane (which is a succulent "weed" found in the cuisine of many Mediterranean countries) and sumac (a tangy spice that often replaces lemon or vinegar in Lebanese cooking - sold in Middle Eastern shops).


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1round (7 inches) pita, cut into ½-inch squares (with scissors) 2cucumbers (peeled and diced) 3medium ripe tomatoes, diced in ¾" cubes 4radishes cut in ¼" slices 8scallions (white and light green parts), finely chopped ¾cup finely chopped fresh mint ¾cup finely chopped Italian parsley 1.5 cups purslane ¼cup lemon juice Salt and pepper, to taste ½cup olive oil 1 large clove garlic, minced fine or squeezed through press 3tablespoons ground sumac 1.5 heads Romaine lettuce Bunch of purslane (optional)

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1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Place the bread squares on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and crunchy; set aside. 2. In a bowl, toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, scallions, mint, and parsley. 3. In another bowl , whisk the lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and sumac until blended. 4. Pour the vinaigrette onto the vegetables and toss. Scatter the bread pieces on top. 5. Serve immediately with a grilled meat or fish, and a side dish of hummus.