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What is za'atar and where can I buy it?

A recipe for labneh calls for it

asked by Ellie's Momma over 3 years ago
6 answers 14925 views
added over 3 years ago

Traditional, popular blend of the Middle East. Use as a flavorful tabletop condiment. For a nice appetizer, cut pita bread into wedges, sprinkle with zatar and olive oil, bake for 5 minutes at 350°. Also nice sprinkled on thinly sliced onions with a bit of vegetable oil to use on sandwiches and salads. Hand-mixed from: sumac, thyme leaves, white sesame seeds and salt. Sumac is an herb which is very tart in flavor.

You can buy it from any high-end spice merchant or gourmet grocer, or from any of several online spice merchants, including Spice World and Penzey's.

added over 3 years ago

Za'atar is a spice blend, and it is simple to make your own. You can find lots of recipes on the web, but here's one for starters: http://mideastfood.about...

The only ingredient you might have trouble finding is sumac. Try a Middle Eastern or Persian shop for that. Once you have made the blend, keep it in a tightly closed container.

added over 3 years ago

Penzey's also has both sumac and za'atar blends. This recipe has a sub recipe for za'ater embedded in it:

added over 3 years ago

There's another version of zatar that does not use sumac, but instead uses a all green herbs such as oregano/savory/marjoram blend. Both green and sumac versions are delicious.


amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

From what I understand, there are several versions of za'atar, depending on where they originate in the Middle East. Syrian, Yemeni, Lebanese, etc. are all slightly different blends. My daughter brought me a big bottle of za'atar from Israel, and I have to admit I'm addicted. On eggs, pita toasted with olive oil and a heavy sprinkle, tomatoes.... there's just something about it.


AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

My own blend, to which I sometimes add sumac and other times not, depending on my mood and the other flavors involved, consists of :
¼ c. sesame seeds, gently toasted in a small skillet over medium heat,
1 T. dried marjoram leaves, crumbled
1 T. dried thyme leaves, crumbled
2 tsp. salt
I rub the herbs between my hands to release the flavor. I don't often use dried herbs, but they're essential for this. (I dry my own, so they're very fresh, though dried.)