Crunch into crisp romaine lettuce and taste tart spices in this wonderful winter fattoush salad.
This traditional Armenian salad uses up stale pita bread, a staple in most Middle Eastern kitchens. Sumac enhances the tartness of the salad and is a great spice to have on hand. Find it in Middle Eastern markets, spice shops or online. If unavailable, squirt a wedge of lemon over each serving. This fattoush salad works well as a main dish. SERVES 6 TO 8
• 2 pita loaves, split in half and torn into bite-size pieces
• 8 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
• 1 medium-size fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons chopped fennel bulb fronds
• 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
• 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
• 1/2 cup chopped mint
• 2 blood oranges
• 1 lemon, halved and juiced
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon sumac
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Spread pita pieces evenly on a cookie sheet and place in a 250-degree oven for 10 minutes. Pita should feel dry, but not be allowed to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
2. Add lettuce, fennel, fronds, radishes, onion and mint to a large salad bowl; set aside.
3. Peel and segment oranges; add orange slices to salad and squeeze orange cores with your hand over measuring cup. Collect any juice from cutting board and add to measuring cup. Add the juice of 1 lemon to cup; juice should measure approximately 1/2 cup. Add salt, pepper and sumac; whisk to dissolve salt. In a steady stream, add oil to juice-spice mixture and whisk until emulsified.
4. Add pita to salad and pour dressing over fattoush salad; toss well to combine and serve.