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Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or part of a mezze spread

In ``The Arab Table," author May S. Bsisu offers this refreshing salad. Fattoush combines toasted Arab flatbread (or pita) with chopped salad vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice, lots of fresh parsley, and the deep red ground sumac, a traditional Middle Eastern spice.

1 round (7 inches) pita, cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 English cucumbers (or 4 pickling cucumbers), peeled and diced
3 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
4 radishes, finely chopped
8 scallions (white and light green parts), finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
5 1/2 cups finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons ground sumac
2 heads soft lettuces, such as Boston

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; 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. On a large platter with a raised rim, arrange the lettuce leaves. Spoon the cucumber mixture over the leaves. Scatter the bread pieces on top. Sprinkle with dressing and more salt and pepper.

Adapted from ``The Arab Table . "

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