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za’atar chips

I know everyone’s on the edge of their chairs waiting for another chilling installment of the weekend workout update, but first! This.

za'atar chips

Do you ever have one of those lazy Sunday afternoons with the house to yourself when you’re feeling vaguely exhausted even though you didn’t really work very hard at the gym at all, and you get a hankering for something just a little bit junk-foodish but not actually too bad for you? And also you have a few pieces of stale pita bread in the cupboard that are too stiff for wrapping around or dipping into things anymore? We all have that exact same day, I’m sure. This is a snack we don’t have often, mostly because I rarely eat bread anymore. We eat it all the time at camp, though, where outdoor living makes the pita bread go stale pretty much right as soon as you buy it.

Za’atar spice is a mixture of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. We’re fortunate to live in a neighbourhood with a large Middle Eastern population, so there’s no shortage of shawarma counters and halal grocery stores and bakeries within easy walking distance. If you don’t have access to a grocery that stocks za’atar spice it’s fairly easy to find online. (You can make your own, but if nobody near you sells za’atar then you might have difficulty finding the sumac too). If you do go looking for it at your local Middle Eastern grocery, keep in mind that it’s often packaged in bags that just say “thyme” or “thyme spice”; you can tell it’s za’atar mix and not just the za’ater herb (thyme) because you’ll be able to see the sesame seeds all through it.

What you’ll need:

-a couple of pieces of pita bread; stale is good, but fresh is okay too
-a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
-za’atar powder, probably about 1 tablespoon per pita for large loaves, half a tablespoon each for small loaves

How to make the chips:

First, cut your pita bread into wedges. You’ll want to make them smallish, about half the size you’d cut them into for a hummus platter (so precise!).


Heat some olive oil on high heat (be careful! olive oil doesn’t like to be that hot and will start smoking if you look away for even a second) in a heavy bottomed enameled or nonstick frying pan. Toss in the bread and stir it constantly until each wedge is at least partially crispy and brown. When the chips seem sufficiently crispy and have soaked up all of the oil, turn the heat off and toss with the za’atar spice until good and coated. That’s it! Easiest not-too-unhealthy snack ever.

Here’s a salad recipe posted a few days ago at one my favourite food weblogs, FatFree Vegan Kitchen, that uses za’atar. I’m going to try it later this week.

Posted by Jodi Green on April 17, 2011 at 3.44pm
Categories: mama's in the kitchen

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