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Posts Tagged ‘Za’atar’

We know it’s a bit early for tomatoes, but this salad tastes good even with the blandest of specimens, so you’re good to go. A great side dish for a barbecue. You can get everything prepped up to an hour in advance but don’t toss it all together until ready to serve.

Tomato & za’atar fatoush – serves 4

  • 1 pitta, cut in half to make two thin round pieces
  • olive oil
  • 1 head of Little Gem lettuce
  • 250g mixed tomatoes
  • 150g feta
  • 2 springs of fresh oregano, leaves picked
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 2 heaped tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • a pinch of black pepper

Peel the garlic and bash with a knife to flatten. Mix it with the other dressing ingredients and allow to infuse for an hour at room temperature. Discard the garlic clove before mixing the dressing with the salad.

Brush the pitta bread with a little olive oil and toast until lightly golden and crispy. Break into bite-sized pieces.

Separate the lettuce leaves and cut into large strips.

Cut the tomatoes in different ways – slice some, chop into chunks and just half the little ones. You want them bite-sized rather than finely chopped.

Break the feta into chunks.

When ready to serve put the pitta pieces, lettuce, tomatoes, feta, oregano and za’atar into a large bowl. Pour over the dressing and gently mix everything together. Serve on a large platter with the pomegranate seeds sprinkled over.

(Original recipe from Honey & Co. Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich.)

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This garlicky bean mash is the perfect match for za’atar coated salmon. An easy dish from Yasmin Khan’s Zaitoun and perfect for a Friday night.

Wine Suggestion: As befitting the easy Friday night we whipped out a Rustenberg Chardonnay from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Despite the class and balance of this oaked Chardonnay it’s relatively inexpensive and one of our standby wines.

Za’atar roast salmon with garlicky bean mash – serves 2

  • 2 salmon fillets with skin on
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 3 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • 25g butter
  • 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6.

Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet, skin-side down. Drizzle with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spoon the za’atar over the fish to completely coat the surface. Cook in the hot oven for 11-13 minutes or until just cooked through.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, then add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for a few minutes. Add the cannellini beans and some salt and pepper. Warm through, then roughly mash, adding a little water if it looks dry.

Serve the salmon with the mash and a lemon wedge.

(Original recipe from Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2018.)

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Pan-fried Figs in Parma Ham

Jono bought a ridiculous amount of figs this week. He got a “good deal” and so we’ve spent all weekend trying to use them. There is lots of fig jam and chutney but we also loved this little starter by Sabrina Ghayour.

Wine Suggestion: this is such a good tapas dish with the play of salty ham, sweet fruitiness and a layer of rich fat. To match we went with a Sanchez Romate Fino someone had given us and were very happy indeed.

Pan-fried figs in Parma ham – makes 16

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large figs, quartered
  • 1 heaped tbsp za’atar
  • 8 slices of Parma ham (or Serrano ham), halved lengthways into long strips
  • top quality balsamic vinegar

Put the oil in a small bowl and stir in the lemon zest and heaps of freshly ground black pepper. Rub this oil on the cut sides of each piece of fig. Sprinkle the za’atar over the figs, then wrap a pieces of ham around each one, overlap so that the pieces are almost covered by the ham.

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Drizzle in a little olive oil and fry the figs on both cut sides for about a minute or until the ham crisps up and browns. Serve on plates with some aged balsamic vinegar drizzled over.

(Original recipe from Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2016.)

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Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & za'atar

A divine vegetable dish from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi’s bookJerusalem’ – still one of our absolute favourites. We served this on a platter as a light starter but it would also work really well as a vegetarian/vegan main or as a side with other dishes. There were happy diners at our table!

Wine Suggestion: this worked excellently with Massaya’s le Colombier from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon, a very Rhône blend with a touch of  Tempranillo which gives it hints of North African / Eastern spices.

Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & za’atar – serves 4

  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into wedges (about 2cm x 6cm)
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 3½ tbsp light tahini paste
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat your oven to 240C/220C fan/Gas 9.

Put the squash and onion wedges into a large mixing bowl and toss with 3 tbsp of oil, 1 tsp of sea salt flakes and some black pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet with the skin facing down and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through and starting to crisp and brown at the edges, leave to cool.

Make the sauce by putting the tahini into a small bowl with the lemon juice, 2 tbsp of water, the garlic & ¼ tsp of sea salt. Whisk until the sauce is “the consistency of honey”. You may need to add more water or tahini.

Pour the rest of the oil into a small frying pan and warm over a low-medium heat. Add the pine nuts with ½ tsp of sea salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until golden brown. Remove from the heat and pour the nuts and oil into a bowl so that they stop cooking.

Spread the vegetables out on a serving platter and drizzle over the tahini. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and their oil, the za’atar and parsley.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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