Long Ago Memories of Sitto’s Zahtar Bread

Published August 9, 2017

Zahtar Bread always reminds me of being a hungry adolescent and asking Sitto what I could have for lunch. She’d suggest a few tasty things, but I always said yes when she asked in Arabic, “Zait W’ Zahtar?” Yes, that humble Middle Eastern snack that’s so loved in the region was loved by me too! Simple olive oil and Zahtar spice, mixed and slathered onto Syrian bread!

The Zahtar Bread recipe, on page 44, which I called Spice Bread, is a new recipe in this second book, along with the recipe for homemade Zahtar spice. Making your own is so rewarding. It’s fresh, with the pungent herbs wafting up to you as you take a bite…it’s probably the best snack and appetizer of the Middle East!

Although there is a recipe for homemade Syrian Bread in the cookbook, on page 4, you don’t even have to bake the bread. If you’re fortunate enough to be near an ethnic grocer, Arab bread is delivered fresh and delicious in wonderful plastic sleeves. Pick up several packs and freeze them. Just mix your Zahtar spice with some olive or canola oil to make a paste. Smear it on the pita bread, put some foil under it, and bake at 375 degrees for about 5 to 10 minutes. Slice in wedges and serve for lunch, snacks, even a Mezze table for a party! So fragrant and delicious!