Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins

From Aglaia Kremezi. The Lebanese believe that zaatar, a mixture of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds, gives strength and clears the mind. For this reason, before leaving home on exam days, all school children eat a slice of bread spread with a mixture of zaatar and olive oil. The traditional recipe for zaatar calls for thyme, but savory -- which has an aroma similar to a combination of oregano and thyme -- works much better.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Grind the savory, sumac, salt and sesame seed in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder until you obtain a fine powder.
  2. Keep in a sealed jar in a cool, dark and dry place.
  3. To use: mix 1-2 tblsps of zaatar with 1-2 tblsps extra-virgin olive oil and spread on warm, toasted bread.
  4. Top with freshly-ground black pepper.
  5. You can also top pita breads with the zaatar and olive oil mixture and bake in the oven to make pita crisps.
  6. Zaatar will begin to lose its flavour after 2 months.
Most Helpful

I love zaatar! growing up my mom would open a container of Pillsbury biscuit's spread on the EVOO and Za'atar and bake and yum yum yum! The smell was all over the house and it was delicious!

lululaaaaa May 31, 2009

Lord knows I can use some mind clearing! Whatever the metaphysical effects, this is worth making for the flavor. Terrific on pitas or warm bread. Thanks, Ev!

Chef Kate November 19, 2007