What is Za’atar
The term Za’atar refers to a family of herbs, including thyme, oregano and marjoram. It’s also a spice blend, and one of Blue Apron’s favorite ingredients. Recipes for the za’atar spice blend vary slightly, but our house version of this Middle Eastern condiment is made from sumac, sesame seeds, salt, ground thyme, dried oregano and crushed Aleppo pepper.
Traditionally sun-dried, za’atar is often eaten with pita or used as seasoning for various meats, vegetables and hummus. Recipes for this spice blend were once considered so precious that they were kept secret—even from family members.
How Za’atar is Used
Cooks use za’atar for seasoning meats and other main courses, but the most popular form of consumption is as a dry dip for bread. Vendors sell the mix in little paper cones, along with fresh bread for dipping. If you try this method at home, we definitely recommend that your bread make a pitstop in olive oil to help the za’atar stick to it.
Our Favorite Recipes Using Za’atar
Each ingredient in a za’atar spice blend helps build flavor. Thyme offers a wonderful earthy herbiness, sesame seeds bring rich nuttiness, sumac, made by grinding the dried berries from the sumac shrub, contributes a slightly sour, citrus-like flavor to the mix. Salt, of course, brings out each of the individual flavors. This blend is delicious on bread, chicken and other meats, or roasted vegetables. Check out some of our favorite recipes below.