Certain spices are now familiar to us, once part of the fabled trade routes of the far East. Cinnamon and cloves are now common for us. But we are still learning about other seasonings and blends. Za’atar is a new seasoning for most of us, but is predicted to be one of the trendy blends for 2018.
Za’atar is a blend originating in the Middle East and is so versatile. It’s a blend of herbs and sumac- which brings a bright, citrus note to the seasoning- making it aromatic but a bit tangy. It’s most often used on bread with olive oil but is a great addition to carbs, veggies and meats. Try it in these three recipes and let us know what you think!
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped (about 8 cups popped)
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Za’atar
- Kosher salt
Cook popcorn as desired. Place popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl and drizzle olive all over, tossing to coat evenly. Add za'atar, tossing to coat evenly. Season with salt and serve. Popcorn can be stored at room temperature in a zipper-lock bag overnight.
Roasted Carrot, Za'atar & White Bean Soup
- 1 pound carrots, whole or roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, whole, peel intact
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to garnish
- 1 tablespoon za'atar, plus more to garnish
- 2.5 cups cooked white beans
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ (no salt added) vegetable stock cube
- 5 cups water, more to thin, if necessary
Preheat oven to 400ºF. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss carrots and garlic with oil and za'atar. Roast for 40 minutes, or until tender.
Remove skin from garlic and add to a blender along with roasted carrots and remaining ingredients (this may need to be done in 2 batches depending on blender size). Blend on high until smooth, thinning with water (up to 1 cup), if desired. Transfer to a large pot and heat over medium, stirring often. Ladle into bowls or mugs and garnish with a thread of olive oil and sprinkle of za'atar. Serve immediately, with lemon for seasoning.
Note: The soup can be made up to 1 week in advance, stored in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to 2 months.
Za’atar Roasted Potatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold or red potatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons za’atar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes into quarters or 1/2 inch round slices.
Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and za’atar. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, to your desired level of crispness. Sprinkle lemon zest on top before serving.