A Refreshing Middle Eastern Salad with Za’atar (serves 4)

The first time I heard of za’atar I staying with a friend and he was dipping his bread into oil and then into some sort of spice, which he explained was za’atar. He broke off a piece of bread and told me to try it – it was very nice and it might be interesting to serve it to guests as a pre-dinner thing (like dipping bread in good olive oil). I like to experiment with new spices and sometimes they work for me and sometimes they don’t. I made a lovely, fresh salad, of which there are many Middle Eastern variations, and scattered za’atar over it. Serve it as a side salad, a light vegetarian meal in itself or alongside some meat.

1/2 an English cucumber – sliced and quartered
12 baby tomatoes – quartered
1 can of chickpeas
1 good slice of red onion – finely chopped
1 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped, plus a bit extra for garnish
1 tsp. of za’atar – and taste if you want more

Mix all ingredients in large bowl, pour over the some, but only as much as you like, and mix together well.

Lemon Vinaigrette

Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk lemon juice and mustard until smooth. Add the oil and whisk some more. Season and pour as much as you like over the salad.


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