Fattoush, the bread salad that is Syria’s answer to tabbouleh, is a dish at the heart of every Syrian and Lebanese household, and sumac is at the heart of every good fattoush, serving to lift and brighten the fresh vegetables. My mom’s family is from Syria, and this salad was on our table for every big event as far back as I can remember. We still serve it at all traditional family gatherings, and it is a crowd pleaser. The crispy pita chips soak up the lemony sumac dressing and contribute great texture, but don’t add them in advance, as they will become too soft. —Christine Sahadi Whelan
Combine the cucumbers, romaine, tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, onions, and radishes in a large bowl and toss to mix well. Sprinkle the parsley and mint on top. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, sumac, salt, and black and Aleppo peppers. Drizzle over the salad and toss gently to combine. Top with the pita chips and a sprinkle of sumac and serve immediately.
Homemade Pita Chips: Middle Easterners insist their pita breads be fresh, fresh, fresh, which is why we have them delivered daily. Any we don’t sell by day’s end are recycled into salads like fattoush, ground into crumbs for breading, or baked into chips. To make your own pita chips, heat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Separate each pita bread into two layers and cut each round into 10 or 12 wedges. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet or two and toast, turning once, until crisp, dry, and golden in places, about 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.