This past summer, we stopped by Abu Dhabi enroute to India. It was a few days of beautiful sights and the most delicious middle eastern food. The Za’atar on tender bread reminded Nilesh of his days growing up in the middle east. He couldn’t stop talking about those flavors even after a month so this afternoon, we stopped by a Lebanese grocery store, picked up some Za’atar spice and gyros bread and used our home grown tomatoes to make some scrumptious Middle Eastern flatbread.
What’s Za’atar? It’s a herb and spice mix that tastes a bit nutty, savory and crunchy. The herb, originally is a herb called hyssop, although in the US, oregano or thyme replace it. The spices are a combination of sumac, coriander seeds and sesame seeds.
Benefits of Za’atar: In some parts of the middle east, there is a belief that Za’atar makes the mind alert and is also used to prevent or eliminate internal parasites. It’s also known to sooth inflammation, boost skin health and build strong bones. No wonder, Lebanese kids are encouraged to have it for breakfast. You can drizzle it over vegetables, avocado on toast, or mix it up with olive oil for use on a pizza/flatbread.
Cook time: 10 mins. Prep time: 5 mins
For the pizza
- 2 pitas or naans
- 1 large tomato cut into half and then sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Za’atar spice mix
Tahini Sauce for drizzle
- 1/2 cup Tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 tablespoons cold water
Method for Tahini sauce:
Blend all ingredients together to form sauce. Add extra water for desired consistency.
Method for pizza: (Oven/ Foodi/ Air fryer options)
- Preheat Foodi or Air Fryer with air fryer option to 375 degree Farenheit or Oven to 400 degrees
- Mix Za’atar and olive oil and brush the mix on the pita
- Layer tomato slices
- Cook in air fryer or over for 10 mins
- Remove and drizzle with tahini sauce to serve