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Za’atar (Middle Eastern Herb Blend)

Za’atar (Middle Eastern Herb Blend)

Have you ever wondered how to add a burst of flavor to your dishes? Look no further than Za’atar, the magical Middle Eastern herb blend that can take your culinary creations to a whole new level. In this article, we will explore the origins of Za’atar, its unique taste profile, and how you can incorporate it into your cooking. So, let’s dive in!

What is Za’atar?

Za’atar is a versatile and aromatic herb blend that is widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is made by combining dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, and sumac, along with toasted sesame seeds and salt. The combination of these ingredients creates a flavorful and tangy blend that is perfect for enhancing the taste of various dishes.

Origins of Za’atar

The origins of Za’atar can be traced back to the Middle Eastern region, where it has been used for centuries. It holds a special place in the culinary traditions of countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. In fact, Za’atar is so popular in these regions that it is considered a staple ingredient in their cuisine.

Taste Profile of Za’atar

One of the key reasons behind the popularity of Za’atar is its unique taste profile. The blend offers a delightful combination of earthy, citrusy, and nutty flavors. The aroma of the herbs, combined with the tartness of sumac and the nuttiness of sesame seeds, creates a truly irresistible taste that can elevate any dish.

How to Use Za’atar

Using Za’atar in your cooking is incredibly easy. You can sprinkle it on top of roasted vegetables, salads, or even hummus to add a zesty kick. It can also be used as a seasoning for meats, such as chicken or fish, or mixed with olive oil to create a flavorful marinade. The possibilities are endless!

Roasted Vegetables with Za’atar Recipe

To give you a taste of what Za’atar can do, here’s a simple recipe for roasted vegetables:

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. Chop your favorite vegetables into bite-sized pieces. You can use a combination of bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes.

3. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt, and a generous amount of Za’atar.

4. Spread the vegetables evenly on a baking sheet.

5. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized.

6. Serve hot and enjoy the burst of flavors!

Where to Buy Za’atar

If you’re wondering where to get your hands on this magical herb blend, don’t worry! Za’atar is readily available in Middle Eastern grocery stores or online. You can also try making your own Za’atar blend at home by combining the individual herbs and spices mentioned earlier.

In Conclusion

Za’atar is a game-changer when it comes to adding flavor to your dishes. Its unique blend of herbs and spices can transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of the Middle East. So, why not give it a try and take your cooking to new heights?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is Za’atar gluten-free?

A: Yes, Za’atar is gluten-free as it does not contain any wheat-based ingredients.

Q: Can I use Za’atar as a rub for grilled meats?

A: Absolutely! Za’atar works wonders as a rub for grilled meats, adding a burst of flavor to every bite.

Q: How long does Za’atar stay fresh?

A: When stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place, Za’atar can stay fresh for up to six months.

Q: Can I use Za’atar as a topping for bread?

A: Yes, traditionally, Za’atar is mixed with olive oil and spread on bread, creating a delicious and aromatic topping.

Q: Is Za’atar spicy?

A: While Za’atar has a tangy and slightly tart taste, it is not typically spicy. However, the level of spiciness may vary depending on the brand or homemade blend.

Q: Can I add Za’atar to my salad dressing?

A: Absolutely! Adding Za’atar to your salad dressing can give it an extra layer of flavor and make your salads more exciting.

Q: What are the health benefits of Za’atar?

A: Za’atar is not only delicious but also packed with health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and has been linked to improved digestion and reduced inflammation.

Q: Can I use Za’atar in vegetarian and vegan dishes?

A: Yes, Za’atar is a fantastic addition to vegetarian and vegan dishes, adding a burst of flavor without any animal-based ingredients.

Zaatar Middle Eastern Herb Blend compressed image1

Za'atar (Middle Eastern Herb Blend)

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 96


  • 1 cup (6 ounces; 180g) of whole white sesame seeds with hulls (refer to note)
  • 2 cups (1 1/2 ounces; 45g) of dried za'atar leaves , tightly packed (refer to note)
  • 1 tablespoon (7g) of sumac
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3g) of kosher salt (Diamond Crystal brand recommended; if using table salt , use half the volume or the same weight)


  • Heat sesame seeds in a stainless steel skillet (8- or 10-inch) over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until they become aromatic and start to pop (about 8 minutes).
  • Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a bowl and let them cool completely.
  • Using a blender or spice grinder, grind the za’atar leaves and one-third of the toasted sesame seeds in batches (if necessary) until they form a fine powder.
  • Transfer the ground mixture to a large bowl.
  • Whisk in the remaining sesame seeds, sumac, and salt until everything is well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to an airtight container for storage.
  • You can store it at room temperature for up to 3 months, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Keyword Features, Ingredients, Nuts & Seed Guides, Nuts & Seeds, Recipes, Recipes By Ingredients, The Latest
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

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