What’s za’atar? It’s a Middle Eastern seasoning, typically a mixture of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and salt. Every house has its own version (and of course there are versions you can buy in stores). Marjarom or oregano can be substituted for thyme, and as a matter of fact the za’atar we sell in our bulk herb and spice bins lists oregano, sesame seeds, salt, and sumac.
Years ago, when I lived in the Middle East, people sprinkled za’atar on salads, meats, goat cheese, and like here, vegetables. They brushed pita with olive oil, dusted that with za’atar, and grilled the bread. Yumm. Do try Roxanne’s recipe, though, and make sure to use organic vegetables. And of course, feel free to switch up the vegetables.
Feeds 8 hungry people. And yes, you can halve it to feed four.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
|¼ C extra virgin olive oil||2-3 Tbsp za’atar spice|
|2 C cauliflower floretes||1 pound asparagus, trimmed|
|2 C green peas (frozen is fine)||1 C crumbled feta*|
|4 C carrots chopped in 1-inch pieces||1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic|
|½ tsp each good salt & black pepper||2 Tbsp minced flat (Italian) parsley|
Mix together oil and all spices.
You’re going to roast the tougher vegetables a little longer than the more delicate ones. So put the cauliflower and carrots together on one baking sheet, and the peas and asparagus together on another. Spoon half the oil-and-spices mix onto each pan, and then toss so all the vegetables are coated.
Roast the asparagus and peas 10-15 minutes. Roast the carrots and cauliflower 15-20 minutes. (Remember every oven is different, so keep an eye on your vegetables.) You can stir the veggies mid-way once or twice.
When the vegetables are roasted, put them all on a serving platter. You can do this as a jumble, or arrange them separately, depending on your aesthetic. Garnish with the feta and parsley. If you want a little more brightness, try a squeeze of lemon, or simply garnish with lemon wedges or Moroccan-style preserved lemons.
*We’re currently in love with the sheep milk feta from Olympiana.