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In the Mediterranean, nothing is thrown away, not even stale bread. Instead it's tossed with cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, mint, sumac (an astringent dark magenta crushed berry), and vinaigrette to make a delicious salad the Syrians call fattoush.
1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded, 1/4-inch diceSalt and freshly ground black pepperJuice of 2 lemons2 large garlic cloves, minced1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes3 green onions, green and white, thinly sliced1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley1/4 cup chopped fresh mint1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or coriander leaves2 large or 4 small loaves pita bread, toasted or stale, torn into rough 1-inch pieces1 teaspoon sumac (optional)Black olives (optional)
Salt the cucumber and let drain 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water and dry well.
Whisk half of the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil together in a small bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Combine the vinaigrette with the cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, mint and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Place toasted or dry bread in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining half of the lemon juice and let sit 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and vinaigrette to the bread and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Sprinkle the sumac onto the top. Garnish with black olives and serve immediately.
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