Sunday, 19 May 2013

Easy Zaatar Crisp's on The Pink Chopping Board

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Asalamu alaikum.
 New segment alert!
 I've decided to share some of my recipe's with the WORLD!
I love food and I love to experiment with lot's of world food's and cook for other's. It's even better when an idea goes to plan and everyone enjoys it, asking for seconds or my family request to eat it again within the same week.

My main foodie loves are Italian and Middle Eastern food. You maybe surprised to know that they overlap slightly as many Italian dishes came from the Arab's. Many ingredient's are shared but they both also have their uniqueness. Saying this I try to cook a variety or dishes from around the world (including my own door step) as there's far too much good food out there to contain yourself to one type.


Today on "The Pink Chopping Board", i'm going to start with something so incredibly easy to make, and very, very tasty. It's healthy, halal, vegetarian, vegan and made of ingredient's you usually have in your cupboard, which is always nice to discover.

It makes a great gourmet snack, party food, starter, side to breakfast and much more.

If you're unfamiliar with zaatar زَعْتَر‎ , it's a delicious middle eastern spice and herb blend. Zaatar usually consists of: oregano, sesame seeds, summac, thyme, basil and salt. However there are many varieties differing between the countries of the Middle East.

There are so many way's to use it. A traditional way, which I have learnt from my Palestinian in-law's, is to dip a piece of warm pitta bread in olive oil and then into a small bowl of zaatar, in a similar way to a dipping oil. Or, there is zaatar manakeesh or manakeesh bi zaatar, this is a bread dough which has olive oil spread on it, sprinkled with zaatar and then cooked. I much prefer it baked. Some contemporary idea's which i've seen zaatar used for are, seasoning chunky homemade oven chips and even popcorn! I will be trying these out, very soon.

 Zaatar Crisp's

Just 3 ingredient's:

Extra virgin olive oil (or olive oil is fine)
Pitta Bread

Let's begin!

Combine zaatar mix and oil in a bowl

For these type's of dishes where I can afford to use too little or too much (as you can easily save it for later), I usually eyeball my ingredient's. For this I use about 2 handfuls of zaatar and less than half a cup of oil for two pitta's. Pitta bread comes in different size's so only take these measurements as a guide, remember it's not set in stone. If your mix is too thick, add more oil to your liking. If you run out of mix and have left over plain pitta pieces, put them in a ziplock food bag and save them for when you cook them tomorrow... because i'm sure you will, once you taste the deliciousness! You will be hooked.

Pre-heat oven to 200C

Open up the pitta bread and cut each half into triangle's

Using a pastry brush spread the mixture on the inside of the bread. 
I have to say, it maybe easier to spread the mix and THEN cut it into triangle's. See which works best for you. I just started doing my thing, trial and error people, trial and error.

Cook for 5-7 mins 
NOTE: if you use a fan oven, you may want to check yours prematurely so you don't cremate them!

Season with salt 
(only if your zaatar mix doesn't contain any already)

Enjoy & sahtain!

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