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What to do with Zatar?

isa1 Aug 1, 2010 01:34 PM

My friend brought a huge bag of Zatar from Jerusalem so I'm looking for suggestions on what to do with it. I already made flatbread twice so any suggestions are welcome. thanks

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  1. l
    limoen RE: isa1 Aug 1, 2010 01:40 PM

    Za'atar chicken a la Nigella Lawson.

    1 Reply
    1. re: limoen
      toveggiegirl RE: limoen Aug 3, 2010 04:08 AM

      I love Nigella Za'atar chicken too. If you don't have her cookbook, "Forever Summer", you can find the recipe online here:

    2. p
      pitterpatter RE: isa1 Aug 1, 2010 03:48 PM

      Get some Lebneh from any middle-eastern grocery -- it's a thick yogurt, though they call it a cheese. If you can't find it, drain some whole-milk yogurt until it is fairly firm. Roll the lebneh into balls, coat all over with the Zataar, then put the balls into a jar and cover completely with extra virgin olive oil. This is fantastic when spread on pitas or whatever. If you have some preserved lemons, add that to the mix.

      Or, spread the Lebneh onto a platter. Surround it with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions, sprinkle heavily with the Zataar, then drizzle it with olive oil. Serve as a dip with quartered pitas.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pitterpatter
        isa1 RE: pitterpatter Aug 1, 2010 06:20 PM

        Great suggestions and I love lebneh. I'll try the dip tomorrow. How long can you keep zatar in your pantry? Is it better to leave in the fridge?

        1. re: pitterpatter
          kermit RE: pitterpatter Aug 2, 2010 12:04 AM

          Lately, I've become completely obsessed with labneh sprinkled with zaatar. With cucumbers, pita, tomato wedges, you name it. I picked up a contained of Byblos-brand labneh at a Middle eastern grocery store, and I polished it off in just a few days (yikes! The fat content is *so* high). I tried to make a lower-fat version of labneh at home by straining two containers of TJ's lowfat greek yogurt, but it just didn't compare to the store bought version. Any suggestions on how to match the taste of the store-bought version without all the fat? I'm guessing I know the answer (that the fat is what makes it so good ;)), but any recommendations would be mighty helpful...to the taste buds, as well as to the pocketbook (over the long run). Thanks!

          1. re: pitterpatter
            alkapal RE: pitterpatter Aug 2, 2010 03:09 AM

            love the lebneh balls idea!

          2. eight_inch_pestle RE: isa1 Aug 2, 2010 01:42 AM

            I've really only made it homemade, so can only assume what I make is similar to a store-bought variety from Jerusalem. That said, it makes a really delightful small bite or app served with a plate of toasted pita and a small bowl of fruity olive oil. Dip pita pieces in oil, then in the spice. Inhale. Repeat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: eight_inch_pestle
              classylady RE: eight_inch_pestle Aug 2, 2010 06:21 PM

              I agree make or buy good pita. Put a layer of olive oil top and sprinkle it with zaatar.

            2. linguafood RE: isa1 Aug 2, 2010 03:37 AM

              I've learned to make a paste with the zatar and olive oil and spread it on pide (not pita) - Turkish flatbread, and roast in the oven for a bit. Delish.

              1. BamiaWruz RE: isa1 Aug 2, 2010 04:31 AM

                It's great with lamb, I marinade my lamb sausages in zatar, lemon and olive oil before BBQ.

                1. Chocolatechipkt RE: isa1 Aug 2, 2010 07:56 AM

                  The current issue of Fine Cooking has a good (looking) recipe for sauteed zucchini with za'atar and crispy chickpeas.

                  1. c
                    cheesecake17 RE: isa1 Aug 2, 2010 08:21 AM

                    - Sprinkle on an egg white omlette
                    - Toss with small potatoes and olive oil and roast
                    - Mix with cornflake or breadcrumbs and use on chicken or cauliflower
                    - Make a paste with zatar and olive oil. Spread on pita bread, and layer in red onion, feta, and tomato. Press or toast and eat warm.
                    - Sprinkle on top of a salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and goat/feta cheese
                    - Add to salad dressing- lemon, olive oil, salt, zatar

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cheesecake17
                      linguafood RE: cheesecake17 Aug 2, 2010 08:51 AM

                      Those are great ideas! I've never put it on salad, but I'll def try that.

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