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The ingredients in this tasty salad vary with the seasons. Purslane, used in the summer, is replaced by romaine lettuce in winter. Other vegetables that are sometimes added include radishes, blanched cauliflower, pickled cucumbers and bitter greens.

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  • Servings: 6 TO 8

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  • 2 pita breads, split horizontally
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons
  • 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup minced mint
  • 1 tablespoon crushed sumac (see Note)


  1. Toast the pitas until golden and crisp. When cool enough to handle, break the pitas into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a mortar, pound the garlic with the salt to a smooth paste. Stir in the lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Drizzle in the olive oil, stirring until blended.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions, cucumber, bell pepper, lettuce, parsley and mint. Stir the dressing, pour it over the salad and toss well. Sprinkle the toasted pita pieces and the sumac on top and serve at once.


Sumac is a spice widely prized in the Middle East for its dark red color and tangy flavor.

Contributed By Published March 1999

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