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Credit: A Mediterranean Feast by Clifford A. Wright
The National Culinary Review, November 2003

From the Chef

“Za’atar (also spelled zatar, zahtar, zaatar) is a Middle Eastern spice blend found throughout the Arab Levant and typically consists of ground sumac, sesame seeds, salt, and dried thyme, though different regions feature different variations. In fact, the word za’atar means “thyme” in Arabic and also refers to the herb as well. According to Clifford A. Wright, author of A Mediterranean Feast (William Morrow, 1999) in Lebanon, cooks mix several tablespoons of za’atar with extra virgin olive oil and dip bread in it for breakfast. According to Nancy Harmon Jenkins in The Essential Mediterranean (HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2003), cooks sometimes add roasted ground chickpeas or melon seeds to za’atar, which is also dashed on boiled eggs for a savory breakfast treat.”


2 cups dried thyme
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sumac
1 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste


Method: Mix. Store in a tight lidded jar in a dark cabinet. Good for up to a year.


about 2 1/2 cups


Sauce/Dressing/Rub, The National Culinary Review, Vegetarian

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