Recipe: Za’atar Pita Chips
Zaatar, za’tar, zatar, zatr, zahatar, zaktar or satar! However you spell it, za’atar is a delicious spice blend with Middle Eastern origins.
Introducing: za’atar by Your Spice of Life!
The same way that there is no set recipe for Italian or Cajun seasoning, there is no standard for za’atar. However, the components of za’atar that are most often found are thyme, oregano, sumac berry, sesame seeds and salt.
I wanted to develop my own za’atar blend, honoring its tradition but also adding my own twist, as I do with all my blends. So I omitted the sesame seeds (mostly because of their very short shelf life) and the salt (because none of my spice blends contain it). Instead, I added some marjoram to intensify the herbiness, and a pinch of lemon peel to brighten the flavor and enhance the lemony flavor inherent in sumac berries.
Again, like Italian or Cajun seasoning, there are hundreds of ways to use za’atar in your cooking. Since this may be an unfamiliar blend for you, I wanted to start off simple with a nice little snack that will really let the flavor of the za’atar come through:
6 whole wheat or plain pita breads
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line one large or two medium baking sheets with foil.
Stack the pitas and cut into 6 even wedges. Gently open each wedge, and separate at the attached end, so that you get two pita triangles from each wedge. Spread the pita triangles, inside (textured side) up, in a single layer on the baking sheet(s). Drizzle or brush the pita triangles lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with the za’atar, trying not to get too much on the foil since it may burn. Dust the pita wedges with sea salt if desired.
Place the baking sheets into the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the pita chips begin to turn crisp and lightly brown. (Watch the chips carefully — they can go from toasty to burnt in an instant.)
Serve warm or at room temperature with dips, cheese or as a simple, satisfying snack.
Although I prefer this recipe with za’atar, you can substitute Hurricane Curry, Rockin’ Moroccan, or Viva Italia! for a completely different flavor.