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Make-Ahead Radish Fattoush Salad

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

Note: I added a couple of ingredients that might not currently be in your spice rack, but I highly recommend putting them there.

Sumac (yes, as in posion sumac, but no, it won't be poisonous) is commonly used in Middle Eastern recipes, especially fattoush. It comes from dried, ground sumac berries, and gives any dish a tart, earthy flavor; I've used it in spice rubs for BBQ ribs with amazing results. It might be a bit hard to find in your regular grocery aisle, but tracking it down at a specialty store is well worth it.

Harissa is a smoky North African condiment that adds punch (and bright red color) to anything. Usually a paste made with a base of chilies and peppery spices like cumin and coriander, harissa is also available in your grocery aisle as a powdered spice blend. Here, I've sprinkled it on the pita for an extra layer of flavor. Although good luck not eating half of the toasted pita chips before you're done with the salad. You've been warned.

If you want to substitute, dried mint or dried oregano could be a good stand-in for either spice. The pita chips can be toasted with just olive oil, salt and pepper, and while the sumac adds to the dressing, it can also be enjoyed without it. Almost no two fattoush salads are the same; so adding in extra herbs or vegetables would be most welcome.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at TheSuzChef.com and on twitter @the_suzchef

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