I had the most amazing za’atar fries at Falafel Inc. in DC over the summer. If you haven’t been there, this small place off M street also has delicious falafel sandwiches, for the affordable price of $3. Not only are their falafel sandwiches $3, but get this … for every $10 earned by Falafel Inc., the restaurant feeds a refugee for a day through its donations to the World Food Programme. (This is not an ad, I just really love the food, the mission, and well, who doesn’t love falafel?). You have to get the za’atar fries. You will not regret it.
Admittedly, I got my inspiration from Falafel Inc. for Oven Baked Sweet Potato Za’atar Fries.
So what is za’atar exactly?
Za’atar, heavy on the A, (زَعْتَر) is an herb blend consisting of dried oregano, dried thyme, dried savory, (sometimes powdered coriander and cumin), sumac and white sesame seeds. It’s one of those basic food staples that every Palestinian household can’t live without. Za’atar is to Palestinian pantries as peanut butter is to american pantries. Admittedly, we always have both. I am, Arab-American afterall.
How do you use za’atar?
Simply, you can pour some in small dish, and fill another small dish with olive oil, then use pita bread to first dip into the olive oil, then the za’atar.
You can spread some Labaneh into a pita pocket, or toast bread, and sprinkle with za’atar.
Or you can make manaeesh, a traditional Palestinian pizza, if you will, consisting of bread topped with a za’atar and olive oil mixture then baked. No bread? no problem, try my Mini Manaeesh.
And of course, you can make Oven Baked Sweet Potato Za’atar Fries!
- 4 Sweet Potatoes, sliced
- 2 tablespoons za’atar (you can find the herb mix at any Middle Eastern/ Arabic market or use the recipe below)
- ¼ cup olive oil +1 tablespoon
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried savory
- 2 teaspoon ground sumac
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat Oven to 450 F
- Peel, wash and cut the sweet potatoes into long slices
- Toss with ¼ cup olive oil and salt, to taste
- Place the cut sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping the fries halfway through
- Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven, place in a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and za'atar spice blend (recipe included), and toss until coated