Zaatar salad

February 22, 2015  • 

zaatar salad

This is the epitome of the rural, traditional salad found in all Lebanese village homes. Lebanese folks would go out to forage some wild zaatar (wild oregano, called zubayr) and get back to make a quick salad. This salad is dressed with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice or sumac (when lemons are not available) water. Olives and pita bread complete this frugal meal. In the US or North America,  some clipped oregano would make a fine substitute.

INGREDIENTS: 2 servings or more

2 cups fresh wild zaatar or grown oregano


2 shallots sliced or 1 small onion or 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 tablespoon sumac soaked in 1/3 cup water or lemon juice

Olive oil, to taste

salt, to taste

1. Place the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve immediately with pita bread and some olives.

zaatar

zaatar

 

Comments

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  1. Susan says:

    I remember your foraging adventure 🙂 I’d love to try this with fresh oregano from my herb pots this summer.

  2. Meeta says:

    Oh lovely! We hardly every get the real fresh zaatar here, just the regular Thyme in a few varieties. But my friend in Dubai always makes sure to make me some of her zaatar mix for me when I visit. Looks lovely!

  3. maritachicita @ mydinner.co.uk says:

    I never heard of this salad before but it looks very interesting. I am pretty sure I cannot find wild Zaartar in England, but I ma try this recipe with oregano 🙂

  4. Inaam Abdulkarim says:

    Dear Joumana,

    I found wild thyme yesterday and I was so excited to try and make my own zaatar. I grew up with my grandma so I remember exactly how it was done. It came out perfectly delicious but I noticed the Zaatar has a very strong Zaatar like taste, a hint of bitterness typical of zaatar. My question is, do you know if that is something that might go away as the Zaatar gets older? Il ‘ m planning of making more to gift to friends but that is a concern.
    Thank you!

    • Joumana says:

      @Inaam: I agree, the assertive scent of zaatar does tend to fade with time, but I am thinking it will take several months or at least one year for that to happen. Your friends will be so delighted to get real, homemade, zaatar, they wont mind the scent! I mean when one buys it at the store, it has no scent, except for the scent of salt and sumac! You can try adding more sumac but then again, it is a matter of taste and some people like very little sumac. I like lots of toasted sesame seeds and going easy on the salt. In Aleppo, I hear they add flax seeds to their zaatar and some ground nuts. If the scent is really assertive, they will just use less, and it will last longer 🙂

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