|Clockwise from top left: Sumac powder,|
sesame seeds, oregano, salt, thyme
I read somewhere that since this is a fairly aromatic mixture, it is really good sprinkled over less flavorful foods, such as avocado or eggs. I love avocado. But the mixture's ultimate combination, flavorful with sumac as the sour note, thyme and oregano as the warm Meditarranean herbal note, and the toasted sesame seeds - even with my ability to combine flavors in my mind I couldn't imagine that combo. I couldn't wait to try it out and see what it would be like.
The first thing I tried was putting some in good olive oil and dipping bread in it. That was really good. Okay, I wanted to try something else. I had a half avocado, so I cut that up and sprinkled the Zahtar over it. Oh, delicious! Later I made a lentil, quinoa and cauliflower dish and sprinkled it on that as well, just to see. Another great flavor combination. I am going to be taste-testing this new set of flavors on just about everything for a while, until I really get a good feel for where it goes best, and I have lots of ideas.
Zahtar / Zah'tar / Za'atar
|Zahtar, mixed and ground|
Makes about ¾ cup
A Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spice mixture, used dry sprinkled over foods, or mixed with olive oil and brushed on flatbreads. May be sprinkled over any dish that could use a little zip.
¼ cup sumac powder
¼ cup raw, unhulled sesame seeds (may be toasted in a dry pan first)
2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves (not powder)
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves (not powder)
1 teaspoon salt
If toasting sesame seeds, place them in a dry frying pan and stir constantly until they begin to pop and snap. Remove from heat immediately and pour onto a plate to cool. Grind all ingredients together in a mortar and pestle, or briefly pulse together in a spice grinder.
Store Zahtar in a clean glass jar with close fitting lid for up to 3 months.
My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.