"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."
photo by Artandkitchen photo by Artandkitchen
photo by Artandkitchen
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
Ready In:
3/4 cup




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

Questions & Replies

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  1. Wonderful!! I also used the savory. So far tried in recipe#386178. I would make this again.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. evelyn/athens, I prepared a half-batch of your zaatar mix so I'd have it to use in chia's vegetable tagine. This is such a lovely blend of spices...adds a lot of depth. I used savory rather than thyme, and was pleased as punch to have a great use for the really big bag of sumac I bought recently. I can see sprinkling your zaatar over all manner of dishes. It'd be great in scrambled eggs or as the main spice for a quiche coupled with zucchini, spinach, and swiss. Wow, I'm now ready to go make breakfast and it's only just past dinner time! :) Thanks for posting.
  5. Never had this seasoning before and it's excellent. I had all the individual spices on hand and needed just 1/2 tsp of zaatar for Mizzy's Lentil Salad #89654. I made just a small amount using the ingredients proportionately and loved the remaining seasoning mixed with the olive oil and spread on toasted bread. What a treat.


<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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