Ever heard of Zatar? I've seen it mentioned in receipes but hadn't found where to buy it until I got the wonderful opportunity to stop by a Penzy's Spices retail store in Menlo Park, California during our recent trip to San Francisco. I learned about Penzy's when a friend gave me a selection of Barbecue spices from them a few months ago. I really like the spices and have gazed longingly at Penzy's wonderful selection of products online. So when I found out there was a store in Menlo Park, I added it to our agenda. Well, my agenda. Mr. ELEB visited a running shoe store while I browsed and shopped to my heart's content.
|From my shopping spree at Penzy's|
So, back to zatar. According to Penzy's, zatar is traditionally used in Middle Eastern dishes. It is a blend of crushed sumac, thyme, white sesame seeds and salt. I bought it to try Penzy's suggestion of pita sprinkled with olive oil and zatar but I was making asparagus soup from some left over stem bottoms (see previous post about this) and given the tantalizing smell of zatar (sort of lemony-sesame-earthy), I thought it would go well with the asparagus.
Yield: 2 servings
Time: 25 minutes
2 cups of chopped asparagus stems, woody parts trimmed off
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 TBSP chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for serving
1 TBSP zatar
Plain non-fat Greek yogurt for serving
1 TBSP toasted pine nuts for serving
Salt and pepper, if needed for serving
- Simmer asparagus, broth, mint, and zatar over medium heat for 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
- Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- Using immersion blender, process until smooth.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
- Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt, mint leaves, and toasted pine nuts.
Another soup winner! Let me know in the comment section if you have any good ideas for zatar.