Zaatar with pine seeds

January 5, 2013  •  Category: , ,


Someone asked me if I had tried zaatar with pine seeds. Pine seeds? I knew pine nuts; pine cones; that was about it! Turns out it was a special type of zaatar that was sold in the Barouk Forest Reserve. Had to get the story on this one. 

This is a type of zaatar sold in just a few places in the country, including at the Reserve; it sells out quickly. The forest ranger told me how it came about. Apparently he and other rangers  got the recipe from some  grannies in the villages. The pine seeds are from local pine trees and are gathered at certain times of the year and totally edible. They add a pleasant crunch to the zaatar, are just a bit bigger than sesame seeds. This zaatar mix does not contain sumac, therefore it is not lemony or sour. 

I am endlessly discovering more and more edible,  natural foods during my weekend trips to the mountains.

Did you know pine seeds were edible? This zaatar is foraged from local wild zaatar (oregano) plants and local pine trees from the forests nearby. 

Research led me to this site which claims that even pine bark is edible and can be boiled and fried like French fries! (with a listing of all the pine trees in Texas).



20 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Belinda @zomppa says:

    I would never have thought pine seeds would look this enticing.

  2. Rosa says:

    Oh, how wonderful! I wonder where I could find pine seeds… Intriguing and surely delicious.



  3. Lyndsey@TinySkillet says:

    I would love to go with you to discover new edibles…sounds like fun to me. All I know is the squirrels around here eat pine cones…like they are eating corn on the cob and we find pine cone “cobs” laying about when they are finished.

  4. Alicia (foodycat) says:

    I’ve never even heard of pine seeds! How amazing.

  5. Sarah G says:

    I am purchasing pine pollen from the forests of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. This is totally new to me, too. I will be blogging about a lot of wild picked foods as they come into season. But no, I have never heard of pine seeds either.

  6. Kalyn says:

    I’m fascinated by this. Absolutely love your blog (even if I am too lazy to comment that often.)

  7. Magic of Spice says:

    Wow, how interesting…and the bark as well? Will have to see if I can find them around here 🙂
    Happy New Year, wishing you an amazing 2013!

  8. Priya says:

    How wonderful and flavourful.

  9. twbarritt says:

    What a great discovery, and so interesting that you’re learning more about the natural edibles in your area.

  10. deana@lostpastrememb says:

    I was terribly sad my zatar plant didn’t make the move indoors. Fresh it was delicious. I buy the herb mix and use it all the time but would love to try a new version. Thanks for the info and Happy New Year!

  11. Magda says:

    Pine is a wondrous tree it seems. I have never heard of pine seeds before. Great discovery, Joumana!
    I wish you all the best for the new year!!

  12. DEVAKI @weaveflavors says:

    Hi Joumana – What a remarkable story and how fantastic for you to find such treasures all around your world and share them with us! Just when I’m getting used to regular z’atar, you throw me a curve ball! Am I complaining? Hell, no! 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  13. Oui, Chef says:

    Fascinating…..I don’t suppose I’ll ever get to taste this, but I wish I could!

  14. Mira says:

    How amazing!! Are the pine seeds only added for the crunch or actually impart a flavor to the zaatar mix?

  15. Susan says:

    This is certainly a new one to me too! I always assumed pine nuts were actually the seeds of the pine tree unless these are just smaller versions of pine nuts? In any event, a wonderful new discovery! Thank goodness for those grannies 🙂

  16. Nuts about food says:

    No, I did not know pine seeds are edible and never even really gave a thought to pine seed before if I have to be honest with you… it was always about the nuts!

  17. domi says:

    Encore une recette venue d’ailleurs….voyage gourmand dans l’inconnu

  18. Jay Nelson says:

    I couldn’t find more on za’atar on your site than this post. Could you give me some idea as to rough proportions the way you would make it? Beyond za’atar, sumac and sesame, what else would you normally use? Am I safe in understanding that the za’atar herb most commonly used is Origanum syriacum?

    As a side note(s), Marriwether’s site, based in Houston identifies the red berried version of sumac as edible although there are enough species in Texas to warrant caution. Texas cedar which is actually a juniper produces usable buds for native juniper berries. Origanum syriacum grows very well in Central Texas and is sold in the nurseries as za’atar. I’m growing it but still learning how to use it.

    I enjoy your blog. Thanks.

    — jay

    • Joumana says:

      @Jay: I have at least 3 zaatar posts but I have been having a lot of problems with the search bar on this blog and hope to get that fixed. Here is the other zaatar post that you may find helpful.
      Also if you try google, type the recipe you are searching for and my blog’s name, the result are quick and easy.

  19. Jay Nelson says:

    That was the post I was hoping to find. Thank you.

    — jay

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