Za’atar: Palestinian thyme mix

May 21, 2015 6:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Wild-harvested, sourced from a women’s co-operative in Jenin, this is a mix of wild thyme (za’atar), toasted sesame seeds and sumac (a spice with a tangy, lemony flavour). It’s an everyday staple in much of the Middle East, where it’s pasted onto bread dough and baked, drizzled over salads, sprinkled into hummus, rubbed into chicken or fish, eaten with yoghurt…and so on!

We stock za'atar from Zaytoun: a Palestinian Women's Co-operative

A mix of wild thyme, toasted sesame seeds and sumac: an everyday staple in the Middle East. Paste onto dough, drizzle over salads or yoghurt, sprinkle into hummus, or rub into chicken or fish.

Zaytoun is the producer of this brand of za’atar. The company, founded in 2004 to source artisan foods from the Palestinian Territories, aims to reflect, through its products, the Palestinian culture of ‘good food from a bountiful land’. Zaytoun seek out foodstuffs made by those with a deep connection to their land.

If you’re cooking Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food, this herb mix can give a really authentic taste. High in antioxidants, it was traditionally seen as a ‘cleansing’ substance – and was said to make the mind alert and the body strong. Even today, children in the region are often encouraged to eat a za’atar sandwich before an exam. Be warned, however, it’s apparently so delicious that it can be slightly addictive…

Here’s a quick meal idea involving za’atar:

Marinade chicken pieces overnight in a mixture of za’atar and olive oil. Grill the following day. Eat with a fattoush salad: mixed chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, lettuce, mint and parsley, sprinkled with za’atar and garnished with toasted, chopped pitta bread. Dress with a mixture of wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic.

While we’re in a Middle Eastern mood, you may like to check out our selection of olives – of various colours, stuffed and unstuffed, organic and natural. We have big jars, small jars and vacuum packs.

We also have:

As they say in (parts of) the Middle East: bil-hanā’ wa ash-shifā: May you have your meal with gladness and health!

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This post was written by Yzanne

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