Za’atar Pita Pizzas

These easy, flexible appetizers are ready in a flash. They can be served plain or topped with a wide variety of ready-made ingredients. Za’atar spice mixture has been used all around the Middle East and into North Africa for hundreds of years. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

  • 4 small pitas, regular or whole wheat
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar spice mix, plus extra for garnish
  • Grilled chicken, baba ganoosh or hummous for topping if desired

Preheat broiler. Place pitas on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon spice mix. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until well browned. Top with toppings if desired and sprinkle with additional za’atar. Cut into triangles and serve.

Middle Eastern Za’atar

  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed

Using a mortar and pestle, grind together thyme, sumac and salt until pulverized. Add sesame seeds, taste for seasoning. Store in a cool, dry place. Makes about 1/4 cup.

Note: Judy’s Oasis at the West Side Market is a good source for the ground sumac.