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zaatar

ingredient

rolled-sambusak

Delicate sambusak with zaatar and cheese

This is a different kind of sambusak. One I’d never seen before. Sambusak is one of those ubiquitous snack foods around here, somewhere next to burekas. While these deep-fried or baked pockets of dough have a strong association here with Iraqi Jews, many of whom consider them an integral part …

pasta-fonduta

Israeli pasta fonduta with labaneh and zaatar

Pasta fonduta is a little-known Italian dish, but if it were from the Levant, it might be something like this. It comes by way of my cousins, who were here for a short visit that involved lots of communal cooking. The original dish, which comes via a recipe by Jamie …

Jerusalem-zaatar1

Meet Jerusalem zaatar

It’s not so common that I find something new and surprising at the shook, which makes it all the more exciting when it does happen. Poking my nose through one of the herb stands last week, I found a new, unfamiliar leaf. It looked like tarragon. I asked what it …

tomatoes-in-basalmic-sauce

Grilled tomatoes with balsamic date sauce

It’s been a rough year for tomatoes. In fact, it’s been a rough year for basic foodstuffs in general. The extreme summer heat decimated produce and pushed down cows’ milk production, while droughts in Russia sent wheat prices soaring. Despite the fact that produce crops in general were destroyed by …

zaatar-yogurt-dip

Herbed yogurt dip with chives and zaatar

This dip won over a self-proclaimed hater of zaatar (my husband) and another self-proclaimed hater of herbs (a good friend). Zaatar is quite popular in this part of the Middle East, and is frequently sold as a dry spice mix, which also includes sesame and sumac (and sometimes salt). But …

asparagus-salad-cafe-liz

Asparagus with sesame oil and herbs

I was looking for a fresh way to prepare a springtime bunch of asparagus I picked up at the market — something light that would let the flavor of the asparagus dominate. This simple salad incorporates fresh herbs, another great springtime ingredient. I used a few leaves of sage and …

soda-bread-zaatar-tomatoes-cafe-liz

Quick soda bread with zaatar, sun-dried tomatoes, and more

In honor of St. Patrick’s day, apparently there’s been a debate raging about soda bread. The conclusion is that once you start adding things beyond flour, buttermilk and baking soda, it’s not traditionally Irish. Well, that’s fine with me. I added zaatar and sun-dried tomatoes to mine, and I make …