Salad with zaatar croutons

October 6, 2010  •  Category:


There is a wonderful, traditional  whole-grain bread here called markook.

Making markook is an art mastered by fewer and fewer people. Markook needs to be hand-tossed several times, stretched on a pillow and  baked in a traditional oven oron a saj. It  is paper-thin.

It is sold in middle-eastern groceries in the US where I have seen it called lavash bread.

If, like me, you like zaatar and croutons, this is for you:

Sprinkle some zaatar on markook; drizzle  a few tablespoons of olive oil or brush on it;  roll up the bread tightly  and cut it in small slices (about 1/4 inches thick);  bake the slices in a 350F oven on a parchment -lined baking sheet till crispy.

Let the zaatar croutons cool; toss in the salad and  keep  leftovers in a tin to  eat as a snack or for another salad during the week.

This is a recipe I spotted in a wonderful magazine published in Beirut, called Femme (October 2010). I used some avocados I had plucked from a tree in Tyre.


  • 1 Bunch of arugula
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, diced
  • a few olives
  • one cup of  zaatar croutons

Dressing: one clove of garlic, mashed and mixed with the juice of a lemon and a few tablespoons of olive oil.

NOTE: Zaatar is an herb mix that is extremely popular in Lebanon: it is made up of ground wild thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt. Middle-Eastern grocers sell it in the US and Canada as well as other countries all over the world. The best zaatar is handpicked, hand-dried and ground and mixed with the other spices according to taste.


26 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Mo says:

    Joumana, I would love to try markook bread. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it in one of those documentary-type shows about food all around the world, but I’ve never seen it here. The lavash I’ve seen in Middle Eastern stores are thin, but definitely not that thin.

    I love za’atar and I love croutons, so I would definitely adore your croutons! 🙂

  2. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Love the idea of zaatar croutons! I happen to have some zaatar in my cupboard, so I’m trying these for sure!

  3. Jenn, Leftover Queen says:

    The croutons sound great! I love Zaatar!

  4. Katie @Cozydelicious says:

    This salad looks fantastic! After reading your blog all these many months, I finally picked up some zaatar from the international market down the street. Now I can make these croutons!

  5. Sushma Mallya says:

    Very different salad but looks colourful and seems really good..

  6. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    The zaatar croutons are just brilliant! You could use all sorts of things instead of zatar as well… maybe some cheese if you were making croutons for caesar salad. Thank you!

  7. Alépine says:

    Excellente idée !!! Surtout que j’aime pas trop le zaatar seul, donc avec ta belle salade, ça doit être super.

  8. sicoulette says:

    Zaatar is the lebanese spice” par excellence”..I just love to put it everywhere!! your salad is yummy!

  9. Cherine says:

    Lovely salad!! Love the croutons!

  10. Nadji says:

    Je devrai tout trouver.
    Je n’ai jamais essayé le pain et le zaatar ensemble.
    Ca doit être délicieux.
    A bientôt.

  11. Katerina says:

    I eat a lot of Lebanese pitas here. I love them, but I guess this bread is something different. I haven’t seen it here, I don’t know if we import it. Your salad looks so frsh and mouthwatering.

  12. Marcela says:

    I love zaatar…..and your salad is just perfect!!……Abrazotes, Marcela

  13. Nuts about food says:

    I loved learning about Zataar, I know so little about Middle Eastern cuisine and yet enjoy it so much. You are opening a new world of ingredients and techniques to me. Thanks

  14. HPD says:

    They say that man cannot live by bread alone. But I sure could, just using your website for inspiration. Cheers!

  15. peter says:

    This artisan bread sounds wonderful. Have you thought about videotaping the making of it and sharing it with us? This salad certainly has caught my eye – love the zaatar.

  16. stacey snacks says:

    I love all the components in this salad!

  17. Mona says:

    Even we have a paper thin flat bread in Hyderabad. We call it Rumali roti or Roomali roti. Just as you have mentioned for Markook, even Rumali roti is hard to prepare at home.

  18. Faith (An Edible Mos says:

    I love coming to your site and getting new ideas on how to use my huge jar of za’atar! This one is another winner, Joumana!

  19. Doc says:

    I love the zataar (thanks to you) and the addition to pizza crust is fantastic. I added it to some recent kebabs. Thanks again for sharing that spice with me!

  20. SYLVIA says:

    This is a good Lebanese style salad that brings sophistication to this recipe. I love zaatar, it has a unique flavor we all have grown to love, the lavash croutons will be gone before you know it. Joumana, thanks to this beautiful presentation, and zesty flavor combination.

  21. OysterCulture says:

    This just sounds so refreshing, I was not craving a salad before, but am now!

  22. Adelina says:

    So cool… I did not know Lavash stood for Markook. See Joumana… I keep learning from you. 🙂 Without making this salad, I already know it sound great!

  23. Socius says:

    For the record, Lavash and Markook are different types of bread. Lavash is originally an Armenian bread. It is thin, but not as paper-thin as Markook bread. It is also smaller in size, while Markook is quite large. Markook is also made of a different flour combination than Lavash. I know this because I work in a commercial bakery that produces both types of bread.

    • Joumana says:

      @Socius: Thanks so much for the clarification; in the US, both types are taken to be the same bread. I love markouk, which I have had made by a seasoned baker on the saj oven, but have never had real lavash, not even in Bourj Hammoud. I’d love to taste the authentic lavash and will inquire at bakeries there.

Add a Comment