This is a three ingredient “recipe” that will be hard to replicate unless you have access to a Middle Eastern grocery store, unfortunately. If you can find this spice blend somewhere, it’s definitely worth picking up, since it makes a lovely side dish with very little effort.
We served this on Sunday with the rest of the Mediterranean menu as a quick accompaniment. I first encountered this spice blend on August 16th, 2009 (I know because my camera kept track of the date) when we had another rather impromptu Sunday dinner and invited a visitor at our church over for lunch along with a few other friends. She had just received a gift of fresh Za’atar brought back from Israel, created by a friend’s mother from thyme she grew in her garden.
Obviously, the fresh stuff was far superior to what I later found at the grocery store. But since my one attempt to make it from scratch did not come out so well, I was happy enough to find that this was sold at the grocery store close by:
With the fresh mix, we dipped the bread in olive oil then the spice blend to make it stick. I like to make it ahead of time by spreading olive oil on pita bread (either the pocket kind or larger thinner ones) and sprinkle on the za’atar, then toast it all in the oven and serve it in wedges.
For the thicker bread, I cut it into wedges first. For the thinner stuff, it can be hard to cut until it’s a bit more toasted.
If the slideshow below doesn’t work for you, find the photos on my flickr stream here.