I believe it is the variety of vegetables and the shape and size of how each vegetable is cut combined with the dressing that make this salad so popular. It can be offered with a variety of entrees made with lamb, beef, poultry, or seafood. You can even add grilled chicken or shrimp to the salad, and it becomes a meal of its own.
You can prepare the croutons in advance and store them in an airtight container for days. For freshest vegetables, rinse and store them ahead of time. The salad can be prepared 1 day in advance. Serve as directed.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pitas into
Once crisp, remove the pita squares from the oven. Transfer them to a container and add the olive oil and sumak. Mix well to coat the croutons with the mixture. Cool completely before storing. Store them covered at room temperature until needed. (If stored croutons seem stale a day later, that means they did not toast long enough in the oven.)
Make certain all the vegetables have been rinsed well and are dry from excess moisture before you begin. Refrigerate the rinsed vegetables overnight if you can (see “Rinsing and Storing Produce). Cut larger romaine leaves in half lengthwise along the rib; then slice widthwise into
Place the tomato stem-side up and cut the tomato in half. Cut each half into 3 wedges (4 wedges for larger tomatoes). Slice each wedge widthwise into pieces
Peel the cucumber lengthwise, removing every other strip of skin for a striped appearance; then quarter lengthwise. Slice the quarters widthwise into
Cut each radish in half from tip to tail. Cut each half into
Prepare the remaining vegetables as described above and mix together. Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours or overnight prior to serving.
Toss the salad with the sumak croutons and dressing just before serving.
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