1 April, 2013
Mana’eesh b Zaatar
Zaatar is to Lebanon what Peanut Butter is to America. The word “Zaatar” (aka Zatar or Za’tar) refers to wild thyme herbs that grow in Lebanese and Middle Eastern wilderness. It is also used to refer to the herbal mix that will be featured in this recipe and which is found in every Lebanese kitchen.
The Zaatar mix can be consumed in a variety of ways, the most common one being to mix it with olive oil, and then use it as a spread on a sandwich or spread it on dough and bake it into a “Man’oosheh” (plural “Mana’eesh”). Mana’eesh bakeries are to the streets of Lebanon what Starbucks is to the streets of America (and now the World). They are extremely common and are crowded mostly in mornings with people picking up Zaatar or other kinds of Mana’eesh and gourmet baked pies on their way to work.
You could certainly buy your lebanese Zaatar mix at local Middle-Eastern grocery store or on line.
Spread a little of Zaatar paste (zaatar mixed with olive oil), on a 1/4th inch thick dough and bake it in the oven as you would a pizza. You can also spread the Zaatar paste on pita bread and toast it in the oven. Toasted Zaatar tends to have a strong tangy taste. You could then eat it as is, or add tomatoes and mint in the center of the “Man’oosheh” and roll it as in a Burrito.
How to Quickly Prepare Zaatar Pies on pita bread:
Spread 3 teaspoons of Zaataar paste (mixed with olive oil) into a very thin layer over a large flat bread or Lebanese Pita bread. Slice it as you would a Pizza, then bake it on a piece of aluminium foil at 400 degrees F for 3-4 minutes until the bread turns toasty with a light brown tan. Serve and enjoy!