Zaatar, sometimes found spelled Zahtar or Za’atar, is called a spice but is technically a blend of spices and seasonings with Middle Eastern roots. In many countries in the Middle East, like Lebanon and Israel, the exact type of spices and the proportions are a matter of national pride and in kitchens everywhere, a well-guarded secret.
One of the main ingredients is sumac, a red colored, lemony spice that comes from a Middle Eastern berry. Sumac adds a citric flavor that really shines in Zaatar and our blend by Terre Exotique starts on a heavy sumac base, with the addition of savory white and golden sesame seeds, a liberal amount of thyme and the perfect balance of salt. This makes this spice blend citric with woodsy and nutty tones, with herbaceous and floral accents.
At it’s most simple, zaatar is a spice that is used to finish dishes at the table. Mix it with olive oil to create a fabulous dip or to brush over bruschetta. It’s traditionally rubbed on chicken or lamb before roasting for stunning results. In Lebanon, zaatar is used for breakfast – which is something we can really get behind of. Add it to scrambled eggs, oatmeal or dust over Greek yogurt for a bright, warm touch.