Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

Za’atar Roasted Potatoes

Za’atar Roasted Potatoes

These Za’atar Roasted Potatoes are the perfect side dish to any summer gathering. They have a delicious, crisp exterior with a luscious, smooth interior. And, may I add, it’s impossible to stop eating them. What takes these potatoes really over the top is, you guessed it, ZA’ATAR!

What is Za’atar??

Za’atar is a delicious spice blend you will find frequently throughout the Middle East. Za’atar means thyme in Arabic, the most common herb in za’atar, along with sumac, sesame seeds and salt. You may also find oregano or majoram in some versions. Each region of the Middle East has their own version of za’atar, and many families make their own unique blends.

Za’atar gives these potatoes an earthy flavor from herbs, a lemony tang from the sumac, and a toasty crunch from the sesame seeds. I’m drooling just thinking about that bite.

Za’atar can be used in SO MANY WAYS. It’s delicious to simply mix it with olive oil and dunk pita into it. I love marinating chicken with za’atar, yogurt and lemon (soooo good, recipe to come!). Sooo YUM to sprinkle on popcorn! Man, dusting it on some over easy eggs, with a little feta – it’s lick your fingers good. As you see, the options are endless.

A Few Cooking Tips!

My favorite way to prep potatoes is to first boil them and then roast them under high heat. This helps create even cooking, so that your potato is soft and not dried out in the inside, while still nice and caramelized on the outside. That is all we can ask for in life, no?

This technique works on any size or type of potato. The boiling and oven time will vary depending on the size and texture of your potato. For boiling, what you’re looking for is for your potato to be just knife tender. For roasting, the oven should be at 425F. Roast until an even browning happens on the edges. You may need to rotate your baking sheet if you have hot spots in your oven for even cooking.

This weekend lets all look like the 4th of July, and if you’re lucky maybe someone will come up to you and say, “it makes me want ZA’ATAR ROASTED POTATOES real bad!” Shout out to the one, and only Legally Blonde <3

Happy 4th!

Za’atar Roasted Potatoes

These Za'atar Roasted Potatoes have such a tasty flavor and touch of crunch! It's the perfect side dish for any gathering!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • lbs baby potatoes, washed, any variety works (I used a mix of red and yellow)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp za'atar*
  • salt, to salt water and to taste on potatoes*
  • water, for boiling

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 425F.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
  • Once boiling add whole mini potatoes and cook until just knife tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain potatoes from water. Allow to cool until able to handle with your hands. Then cut in half, lengthwise.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  • Place potatoes on baking sheet and toss with olive oil and za'tar. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Line potatoes with the skin side down on baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 15-20 minutes, until you notice some browning color on your potatoes. Then, broil on high for a couple minutes until the tops are further browned and crisped to your liking.
  • Once out of oven, sprinkle additional salt as needed to taste.
  • ENJOY!

Notes

Three Teas Tips
*The blend of za’atar you have may or may not have salt. Taste your za’atar beforehand to know, and adjust the salt on your potatoes to taste. Also, some za’atar may or may not have sumac. Sumac adds a nice lemony touch to the blend. If you have it on hand and like the flavor, feel free to add it to your za’atar blend to taste as well. You can buy za’atar at Middle Eastern grocery stores, spice stores, or online. 
Keyword potatoes, za’atar



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