Zaatar

Photo courtesy of jordan-valley.co.uk
Photo courtesy of jordan-valley.co.uk

I can’t tell you what it is, because no one really knows, save Ottolenghi. Zaatar is a combination of herbs and sesame seeds and salt and olive oil commonly found in Middle Eastern cooking. It adds color, texture, a little bit of healthy and tons of flavor to anything from chicken to potatoes to pizza. In the Middle East, street vendors sell light fluffy oversized bagels that you dip in za’atar -why you would want to eat a dry carb dipped in salt in the 100 degree heat I do not know, and might very well be the reason people are so cranky over there. I used to chop a zillion cloves of garlic and shallots with which to enhance my baby potatoes, but then a friend tossed hers in zaatar & olive oil and baked them to perfection. I was smitten. I happen to think it’s amazing with feta, cured black olives and a generous drizzle of olive oil as a pizza topping, that is if you believe in a meal that’s 80% salt. Zaatar can be found where Middle Eastern or Kosher products are sold.

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