The Flavors Of Za'atar Thursday, February 20 2014
Za'atar (also spelled zaatar) seasoning is a blend of dried herbs, sesame seeds, sumac and salt. It is a traditional, historic and cultural staple of cuisine in the Middle East. Far and away one of Spicely's biggest sellers, za'atar has deep roots in culinary history.
Dating back to the 13th century, the blend changes from region to region and family to family. In Lebanon, the za'atar may have dried orange or lemon zest and in Israel it might include dried dill. The za'atar in Jordan has a higher ratio of sumac, giving it a deep orange color. However, there are some staples in za'atar, dried thyme, oregano, sumac and sesame seeds are standard ingredients. Some blends include marjoram, mint, sage, and savory as well.
The uses for za'atar in the kitchen are extensive. It is frequently used as a snack, a table condiment and can be combined with olive oil to make a dipping sauce. Za'atar is rubbed onto meats as a marinade and brushed onto pastries before they are baked. It can be sprinkled onto roasted vegetables and rice dishes. In Lebanon, za'atar is associated with breakfast by being added to eggs, toast and oatmeal.
Spicely's organic za'atar is made with white sesame seeds, thyme, sumac, marjoram, savory, and salt. Try toasting za'atar in olive oil over medium heat on the stove, stirring constantly until the blend becomes aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the warm oil and seasoning to popcorn for a savory snack.