One of the ways my family has loved trying new local dishes is by visiting our favorite grocery stores’ prepared food sections. It’s a great visual way to discover new foods. It’s been especially fun for the kids to try new things based off of what they see. While just like back in the States, the grocery store doesn’t always have the best version of a particular dish, but it gives you the idea of what said dish is. However, the exception is the Za’atar Spiced bread.
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix (hence the title of this post) that uses a mix of dried herbs and crushed sesame seeds. While you can easily find the blend in stores, I think it may not be the case when we move-plus I enjoy making my own blends, so I can customize to suit our tastes.
Za’atar is also great sprinkled on fish, chicken or roasted vegetables. I even know someone who likes it on their popcorn! However, my favorite way to enjoy it is baked on Lebanese flat bread, drizzled with a little good quality olive oil.
- 2-4 tablespoons sumac powder*
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano*
- 2 tablespoons dried marjoram (optional)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine sesame seeds and salt in a food processor until course to fine, depending on your preference. Mix in the rest of the spices.
- Store in an air tight container for up to 3 months.
Sumac is a dried, ground red berry that has a lemony taste and can be found in Middle Eastern markets.
If you don’t have marjoram, you can omit, just adding extra oregano
If you are making this for meat, I suggest adding more Sumac, if you are making this for vegetables or as a topping on bread, I suggest less.
p.s. Thank you for the inquires, comments and emails about where we are headed next. Because things aren’t final yet (uggg… bureaucracy!) I’m not going to say. Yes, I’m superstitious (overly so, according to my husband.) But, we are excited none the less and I’m already feeling anxious about decluttering and going through everything before the movers come.