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Reem Assil's California Fattoush Salad

Makes 4-6 servings

Little Gem or romaine lettuce for crunch, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, spicy radishes, and fresh herbs. This base welcomes seasonal additions. In the summer, I add corn—grilled or raw—pomegranate seeds, pickled cherries, or fresh purslane. In the winter, I swap segments of Cara Cara oranges and other citrus and fried sunchokes in place of tomatoes. In the spring, I look for varieties of radishes, including Easter Egg, Ninja, and French Breakfast to mix things up a little.

The medley of vegetables is what makes fattoush so special. If you’re not a purist, you can make it a medley of anything. Mine has all the elements of a delicious balanced salad: mustardy arugula,

In my earliest food memories, my mom is frying leftover bread into an addictive crunchy snack, a topping for soups or, more often than not, croutons for fattoush. Although I loved the chips, I fault the tasteless trucked-in tomatoes for my childhood aversion to the salad, an aversion I abandoned the first time I tasted field-fresh tomatoes in California. There’s no need to forgo this staple of the Palestinian dinner table when tomatoes fall out of season, since citrus makes a great winter substitute.