Za’atar Seasoning

For Lior Lev Sercarz, chef and owner of location spice atelier La Boîte, a za’atar dish ought to always include sumac, sesame seeds, and za’atar itself, a leafy herb that has a taste similar to oregano. The classic spice mix is citrusy and flower with the addition of sumac, however also toasty and mouthwatering with the sesame seeds and za’atar leaves. This homemade variation tastes just like what you ‘d buy in a container, but making your own is a lot more fun and cost-efficient. For a more robust mix, gently toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over low heat to maximize their earthy taste. Utilize this mix to make our Za’atar Fire Crackers, rub it on chicken, spray it on a flatbread with olive oil and feta, stir into olive oil for a dip, or whip into hummus.

Frequently asked concerns
What spices are in za’atar?
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that generally includes sumac, sesame seeds, and za’atar. Dried oregano, marjoram leaves, thyme, coriander, chili pepper, and cumin may also be included, depending upon the recipe or source. The tangy, spicy, and earthy spice blend has layers of intricacy, that makes it delicious across many cooking applications.
Za'atar Spice Blend
Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen
Unhulled sesame seeds include their edible husks and have a subtly bitter taste. Discover them at most specialized supermarket or online at Za’atar leaves can be found in a lot of Middle Eastern markets or online at

Make ahead
Za’atar Seasoning can be kept in a glass jar or spice container with an airtight cover at space temperature for up to one month. Be sure to keep in mind the date that you made the spice mix to ensure its freshness.
1/2 cup sesame seeds (ideally unhulled).

1 1/2 cups packed dried za’atar leaves (or a mix of 1 cup dried marjoram, 1/3 cup dried oregano, and 3 tablespoons dried thyme).

1/2 cup ground sumac.

2 teaspoons fine sea salt.
Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over low, stirring occasionally, up until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer sesame seeds to a small plate, and let cool a little, about 5 minutes. Reserve.

Grind za’atar leaves, sumac, and salt in a spice grinder up until coarsely ground, about 15 seconds. (Alternatively, crush utilizing a mortar and pestle.) Pour into a small bowl; stir in toasted sesame seeds.

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