If you’ve seen my spice collection, you’ll have a bit of an understanding about how much I love the flavour herbs and spices provide. While visiting Jerusalem recently I was introduced to za’atar – a spice I’d never even heard of before. While dabbing a chunk of olive-oil soaked bread into the fragrant green spice I was informed that it was amazing on fresh bread toasted under the grill and that I should try za’atar popcorn!
They had me at the word popcorn! I absolutely LOVE popcorn. Unless it’s sweet, then I’m not such a fan. Naturally I had to buy some, put it to the test and see what all the fuss was about. It was worth it! It’s a difficult taste to describe, gently hinting a bit of thyme. The Israeli za’atar I purchased was based on hyssop however as the ingredients used in this spice mixture can vary across countries the taste may differ across regions in the Middle East. Apparently the recipes used to blend za’atar are kept as closely guarded family secrets!
- 1 Tbsp oil
- ¼ cup popcorn
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp za'atar
- Heat oil in a saucepan with a lid until it is hot
- Add popcorn, shake to ensure oil is distributed evenly and allow to pop.
- Take off the heat once there is >5 seconds between each kernel popping
- Pour into a bowl, add salt and za'atar and combine well.
- Eat fresh and hot
Have you ever tried za’atar before? What are your favourite recipes?