Fresh Za'atar - Alison Roman
"Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made of thyme, sesame seeds and, more often than not, ground sumac. Because the quality, texture, and type of za’atar will vary depending on where you buy it, I find it useful to just make my own (especially should I have extra thyme on my hands - literally), keeping it next to flaky sea salt as a part of my seasoning arsenal. The salt and sumac act as a sort of salty/sour dream team together in any circumstance, but thyme brings the fresh heroines and toasted sesame anchors the whole thing with a deeply savory, nutty flavor.
Use this as you would use the store-bought stuff, which is to say, use it on everything. I’ll be your best friend come summer (it’s perfect on raw tomatoes and nearly all grilled produce during the hotter months), but it’s also great as a winter pick-me-up, dusted over roasted chicken or seared fish, sprinkled over smashed toot vegetables, and, of course, served with butter-tossed radishes any time of year. While the thyme will dry out (this is not a bad thing), this fresh za’atar will keep for up to a month at room temperature stored in an airtight container."
1/4 cup raw white or black sesame seeds
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons ground sumac
Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, tossing constantly until they’re fragrant and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the thyme and sumac, tossing it to combine. Season with salt and let cool completely before transferring it to a storage container.