زعتر – In Arabic can also mean thyme, but is used to refer to a blend of thyme, sumac, olive oil and sesame seeds. Some people like to add other spices to it such as ground coriander and cumin, but the ingredients mentioned above are the only ingredients used in the original recipe. Thyme in the Middle East is different than the thyme found in North America and Europe, but oregano is a great substitute. I often read recipes that call for the addition of thyme and marjoram. Though, this would definitely taste good, it wouldn’t taste like Za’atar. My favorite way of eating it is on Mana’eesh or with pita bread. Dunk a piece of pita in quality olive oil and then in Za’atar. You’re welcome!
Ingredients: yields 0.5 kg of zaatar blend
- 6 cups dried Palestinian thyme or oregano
- 8 tbsp sumac
- 1 ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- A pinch of salt, if desired