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Middle Eastern Condiment Za'atar

Za'atar or zaatar, is a wonderful Middle Eastern condiment whose name comes from the generic term used for the herbs that it is comprised of.  It can be mixed with olive oil and used as paste on grilled lamb, or as a dip combined with olive oil and yogurt and served on hot pita bread. In general we advise people to explore spices, and their use; creative expression is one of the gifts of cooking!

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Ingredients:

1 cup dried thyme
1 cup sumac (sour tasting middle eastern spice from dried fruit)
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup chopped onion (optional)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

1. Put the sesame seeds on a small sheet pan or pie plate and toast for 6 minutes, until golden brown.

2. Combine thyme, sumac, salt, and sesame seeds and grind into a fine powder in a spice mill. (This may need to be done in 2 batches.)

*Store in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 months. Refrigeration is not necessary.

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