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Fattoush
Throughout the Mediterranean, bread salads have long been a staple. This particular version is an excellent way to use up leftover pita bread. Serve with a glass of dry white wine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pita bread rounds, 3 to 4 days old and each 8
     inches in diameter
  • 1 English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled, halved,
     seeded and diced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tomatoes, about 1 1/4 lb. total, seeded
     and diced
  • 6 green onions, including tender green portions,
     cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Split each pita bread into 2 rounds by separating it along the outside seam, then tear the rounds into 1-inch pieces. Spread the pieces out on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden and dry, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl.

Meanwhile, spread the cucumber on paper towels in a single layer, salt lightly and let drain for 15 minutes. Transfer to a colander, place under cold running water for a few seconds and then pat dry with clean paper towels.

Add the cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, bell pepper, mint, parsley and cilantro to the bread. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the vegetables and bread and toss well.

Transfer the salad to a platter and serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Small Plates, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1998).