SERVES: 6 This tart and refreshing Lebanese salad is very versatile: You can make it with lettuce or purslane, and with or without bread. The fresh herbs are important not only to add flavor but also to hold the ground sumac that gives the dish its distinctive taste. 1 large pita bread, split horizontally 1 large romaine heart, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons 1 bunch scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced 3 kirby cucumbers or 1 European cucumberpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced 1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered 3 cups coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (from 3 bunches) 1 cup fresh mint leaves (from 1 bunch) 2 1/2 tablespoons ground sumac (see Note) or fresh lemon juice 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper Directions: 1 Preheat the oven to 300°. Bake the pita bread directly on the oven rack for 10 minutes, or until the bread is dry and crisp but not browned. Let the pita bread cool completely, then break it into 1-inch pieces. 2 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the romaine ribbons with the sliced scallions, cucumbers, quartered tomatoes, chopped parsley, mint leaves and ground sumac. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add the toasted pita bread pieces to the salad and toss again. Serve at once. NOTES Sumac is a fruity, tangy spice that is ground from the dried berries of a wild Mediterranean bush. It is available at Middle Eastern markets.
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