Zaatar sticks

November 29, 2010  •  Category:


Zaatar is a food  I simply can’t live without. So, every so often, I make something with zaatar; this time, I saw neat little packages of puff pastry at the Middle-Eastern grocer, already cut in small squares;  this puff pastry  is not unfortunately  made with pure butter from Danish cows.

Oh well.

The pastry squares are very amenable to being rolled out paper-thin;  a zaatar paste is spread out gingerly, the (now) rectangles get rolled up like a carpet, and thrown in a hot oven.

A few minutes later, golden crispy zaatar batons are ready to be dipped in labneh (or yogurt cheese) and enjoyed with the appropriate beverage (a glass of wine, perhaps?).


  1. Defrost as many squares as you wish at room temperature for a couple of hours. One square, rolled paper-thin, will yield 2 batons. Pour some zaatar mix in a small bowl and cover it generously with olive oil, stirring to make a loose paste.
  2. Roll out the dough on a work surface sprinkled with a little flour. Roll it out as thin as possible. Using a small spoon, dab some zaatar paste all over the rectangle of pastry, spreading it out with the back of the spoon so that it is evenly distributed.
  3. With your fingers, roll the pastry as if rolling a rug; roll back and forth to thin it out even more if you wish. Cut in half and place the batons on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you wish, dab some olive oil on the batons and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds back and forth.
  4. Bake in a preheated 375F oven until the batons are crisped up, checking on them after 15 minutes and flipping  them if necessary. Cool and serve with labneh (yogurt cheese) or as is.

TIP: If you wish, you can roll them very thin, like sticks; in which case, one square of puff pastry will yield 4 sticks.

For more information on zaatar, click here.

For information on a zaatar grower in Lebanon, click here.

For information on how to make labneh, click here.


42 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. theUngourmet says:

    I enjoyed reading more about zaatar. These little rolled snacks look so delicious!

  2. Grapefruit says:

    It’s far too early in the morning for me to drool over blog posts – but you had me at the word zaatar. I love this idea! I have everything on hand except the puff pastry so I’ll be making this after my first trip to the grocery store! Will be sure to blog about it too & link to you!

  3. john@heneedsfood says:

    A glass of wine? But of course! Shamefully I rarely use zaatar. Something I don’t understand as I absolutely adore the flavour

  4. Priya says:

    Feel like grabbing some batons..

  5. Katerina says:

    I am sure if I start eating these I won’t stop until all are gone. I love appetizers sometimes more than actual main course.

  6. Rosa says:

    Lovely atons! Za’atar is so wonderful.



  7. Cherine says:

    Those batons look so good. Love to dip them in labneh too!!

  8. peter says:

    Joumana, I would eat a jar of these as well….good offering for when guests first arrive or to have around as a snack.

  9. Heni says:

    oooo! quick easy and delish!

  10. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I’ve got some Zaatar I need to use–these little delights look perfect for holiday cocktail parties!

  11. Caffettiera says:

    Not sure if I love more the zaatar or the labneh. Definitely the two combined are one of the best things ever. Great appetizer idea, perfect for a last minute invite! Thanks

  12. peanutts says:

    I keep hearing about zataar so have always wondered what it tastes like :), maybe someday when I get my hands on some will defintely come here to try one of your zataar flavoured recipes 🙂

  13. SYLVIA says:

    The presentation says Beirut, spiked with sesame seeds, this chefy topping of zaatar that’s rolled into a crunchy cracker, has a lot of flavor with a little effort.Everyone will be asking for more, it’s guaranteed party hit.

  14. 5 Star Foodie says:

    These are scrumptious savory treats, so flavorful with zaatar! Excellent!

  15. deana says:

    I’m with you… I love zatar… just in a pool of olive oil, dunking in chunks of good bread… I am in heaven! Great idea to pair with pastry… heaven for an appetizer!

  16. Joanne says:

    Isn’t it sad that I’ve never even tasted this thing that you’re so passionate about? I’m sure I would be hooked immediately though. These look delicious

  17. Ivy says:

    I’ve never tried zaatar before but they sound like a delicious snack!

  18. Sally says:

    You are right about puff pastry and it being better to use an all butter version. But if anything can make this taste good it’s being slathered in zaatar. This recipe will be fantastic for Christmas drinks nibbles.

  19. Karen says:

    What a fabulous idea! I LOVE zaatar too– good take on a cheese straw!!

  20. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Great as an amuse-bouche for the holidays, and color cordinayed with xmas too

  21. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I love zaatar. I love it on pita with a little olive oil, and also on chicken.
    *kisses* HH

  22. Joy says:

    Boy oh boy these look fantastic!! I recently tried Zaatar and fell in love, I am tempted to make these tonight for dinner 🙂

  23. Namitha says:

    Interesting read. They would make a perfect snack

  24. Cynthia says:

    Gosh, I bet these tasted really good and disappeared in no time.

  25. Susan says:

    Another good filling for those batons! My guests loved the mustard-filled batons from Dorie Greenspan. They are so adaptable!

  26. Hannah says:

    Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a bucket of these right now! I ador za’atar but almost never have it… I must rectify this immediately!

  27. torviewtoronto says:

    lovely colour looks yummy perfect to snack

  28. Adelina says:

    What a simple yet satisfying idea… need to keep this in mind. We had zaatar bread this weekend… I wish I had the chance to come on your site earlier 🙂

  29. turkey's for life says:

    These look dangerously moreish. I can just picture the glass of wine, music playing, a plateful of zaatar batons…and then realising I’ve eaten the lot!

  30. Sweet Artichoke says:

    I cannot resist things with zaatar! These batons look perfect for the Italian cheeses I have just bought 🙂

  31. Amanda says:

    Joumana, what a perfect snack to serve with drinks in the holiday season. I have just made some labneh and have a bag of zaatar in the pantry – I’m ready to go!

  32. PJ says:

    Such a quick and yum snack.I don’t think I will be sharing it with anyone if I am going to make this 😉

  33. FOODESSA says:

    On to the grocery list this puff pastry sheet will go. One more discovery I’m hopefully going to be excited about finding at the M.Eastern store. Wish me luck to find it ;o)

    Great idea for my buffet table ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  34. Alépine says:

    Tu excelles toujours dans l’utilisation du zaatar ! J’ai déjà gardé de côté la recette de tes croûtons au zaatar et celle-ci me plaît beaucoup.

  35. Oui, Chef says:

    YUM…another delicious way in which to use my fabulous zatar. Love it! – s

  36. Julie says:

    Très belle idée d’apéritif à servir à ses convives. Il faudrait vraiment que je goûte le zaatar dont tu nous parles tant! Ça m’intrigue! Bisous

  37. Amy @ cookbookmaniac says:

    aww. these would be perfect to snack on. I have only recently discovered the virtues of zaatar and I am loving it.

  38. Dana says:

    Those would be so good with labneh for dipping! I agree completely.

  39. Ani says:

    Love Zaatar! Especially on pita with olive oil. That is Armenian pastry the way in your photo. Work with it all the time.

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