I like to pick up different spices and foods at the store, and then try them out at home. When I saw this little box of za'atar spice, I wanted it! But I wasn't really sure what to do with it.
The ingredients on the side said thyme, sesame seeds, marjoram, sumac and salt. I wasn't sure what the flavor profile was for sumac, but I knew what the rest of it was. I also remembered seeing an episode of "Top Chef" where they put it on fish, so I created from there.
I had some extra carrots and potatoes to use up as well, so the accompaniment is a spiced carrot potato puree. It was certainly a different flavor profile than we are used to, but I really enjoyed it. I think my next escapade will be to make some homemade za'atar mix, as it apparently is good with flatbread, which sounds delicious!
Za'atar Spiced Fish
For the carrot potato puree:
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound carrots, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Place potatoes and carrots in a large pot, and cover with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil, and boil until both are fork tender. Drain all but about 1/2 cup of the boiling water. Add butter and spices, and using immersion blender or regular blender, puree until smooth. Cover and set aside.
For the fish:
4 firm white fish filets (I used tilapia here)
2 tablespoons za'atar spice
1 teaspooon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh lemon wedges
Season fish liberally with za'atar spice, salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, and saute fish approximately 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve on top of puree, with a lemon wedge.