Za’atar (or zaatar) refers to thyme in Arabic. However, it’s a kind of blend that could include other dried herbs such as marjoram, oregano. Then sesame, sumac (zingy) and salt are added to it.
Mixed with olive oil, it’s spread over pizza dough, or pita bread, sometimes along with labneh for breakfast.
Twister rings with Za’atar, chili flakes and freshly ground pepper
You can find it in Middle-Eastern sections of some supermarkets or Lebanese-Syrian shops.
I got hooked to zaatar blend since my years in Dubai. It’s now part of my pantry, along with herbes de Provence, Masala, Ras-El-Hanout…
I sprinkle it over pasta, bread, cheese (try grilled halloumi with za’atar, along with a green salad and pomegranate molasses).
It’s common to find za’atar croissant pretty much everywhere croissant can be sold over here, across the middle-east.
In this post, I’ll be giving sharing a version of za’atar and what I baked for breakfast, out of leftover croissant dough cuts.
I have previously posted a croissant-dough recipe, although the pictures look awful, trust me on the recipe, it’s inspired from Christophe Felder, an Ace of pastry. It gives a flaky and yet somehow brioch-y dough. I also use Michel Roux’s recipe. It’s also good, and I’ll tell you about both method soon.
The good news is that I’m planning to post an English recipe of my 2 trusted croissant-dough recipes and the many ideas (and easy) to use it in sweet but also savoury recipes.
But for now, back to za’atar. I’m just giving you a guidance but you can adjust it to your liking (more or less sumac, more or less sesame….).
About 2/3 cup
Prep: 5 min- roasting: 2 min
1 tbsp of sumac (or slightly more)
2 to 3 tbsp of thyme
1 ½ tbsp of roasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp of marjoram
1 tbsp of oregano
1 tsp of coarse salt
Roast the sesame seeds for about 2 min and let cool.
Use a mortar and pestle for this, the result is much better. Use a food processor as a second option.
Mix all the ingredients and give them 2 pulses, it needs to stay coarse. See! It’s easy!
Store za’atar the way you will store spices: in a cool dark place inside an airtight container. Keep it for 3 months or more.
Za’atar rolls and mini- thin croissants
Note: you may mix zaatar with olive oil and leave it in a sealed jar, use it as a spread.
You can also mix it with Labneh or any cream cheese and keep it in the fridge. It’s a good fresh spread, drizzled with olive oil.
Nada Kiffa is an Expert in Moroccan cooking and her recipes are coming from a lineage of Moroccan home and professional cooks.
Cooking classes and posted articles are inspired by her family life in Morocco and elsewhere. You will learn what makes a dish Moroccan before learning how to execute it. You will also learn how to work around recipes and cut corners without missing on the flavour.
View all posts by Nada