Recipe Courtesy of Dana, Honey I’m in the Kitchen
My memories of zaatar are not at all sophisticated or exciting. They are a simple visual committed to memory of two tiny flowery bowls that sat (and still sit; although the bowls may have since changed!) in our kitchen cupboard back home in Sharjah, one containing zeit zaitoun (olive oil) and the second, zaatar. Mama never made any exotic or elaborate dishes using zaatar except for manaeesh (flatbreads). In our family, the pleasure of zaatar was in its raw form. The wild abandonment of tearing off a piece of bread, dipping it first in the olive oil and then in the zaatar; and then gobbling up that drippy, messy marriage of perfection. Pure bliss. And because we enjoyed our zaatar simply, mum always went to great lengths to source the best. To this day, as I am married and with a family of my own living the expat life in countries where finding Arab ingredients is a challenge, mama will always buy extra and save some for me to take back with me. As for fresh zaatar, now that’s just another story. We ADORE it and especially mama’s braided dough stuffed with olive oil and fresh wild zaatar that she carries all the way from Amman in massive bundles annually. Now thats a post for another day.
The beauty of this BAKED ZAATAR SEA BASS recipe is that there isn’t really a recipe at all. It’s one of those easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy, quick and last-minute recipes that are as impressive looking as they are delicious and such a snap to pull together. I haven’t provided any quantities as it’s really a question of taste. Also, feel free to switch it up a little here and there, I vary my spices depending on my mood and pair it with different salads or sides. Here, I’ve served it with my favorite Jerusalem farmer’s salad (recipe to follow). I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. My boys gobbled this one up with a side of olive oil mashed potatoes.Dana