Every spring my sitti sits on her little stool in her glass covered veranda that overlooks her garden. Surrounded by bushels and bushels of wild Za’atar bundles that she had special ordered from the farmers near by.
It’s time to stock up on Za’atar. The main herb in Palestine’s beloved Za’atar blend. It’s the gift that she sends to all her children, grandchildren now great grandchildren every year.
The aroma is so intense in that veranda and TITA’s hands and fingers are stained from plucking the zaaatar leaves from the woodsy stems.
Za’atar is used in many applications in the Palestinian cuisine. From manaeesh a flatbread topped with a za’atar blend swirled with olive oil, pastries, salads, sandwiches, spice rubs and more. My grandmother would even use Za’atar leaves steeped in boiling water as a natural remedy for a cough, or a cold.
Little bites of Za’atar palmiers so green they stain the dough but feel like a hug from Sitti.
1 sheet puff pastry thawed in the fridge
5 tbls za’atar mix
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Yield: 12-14 cookies per sheet
In a bowl combine the Za’atar and olive oil to create a paste that you will spread into the puff pastry dough
Work with thawed puff pastry. Remove it from package and unfold carefully onto a parchment paper that’s cut into the size of your baking tray.
Give your dough a quick roll with a rolling pin to make sure it’s an even rectangle and the dough is smooth.
With a spoon or an offset spatula Spread the Za’atar mixture evenly over the puff pastry dough leaving a small boarder all around.
Starting with a long edge of the pastry, roll pastry tightly around filling, stopping in the middle. Repeat with the opposite edge, meeting the first roll. Put a little water onto your finger and dot along the long edges that come together; press gently so the two rolled edges stay together. Refrigerate until slightly firm about 10 to 15 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the log, about 1/4- 1/3 inch slices. Tip: if cookies unroll as you slice them, roll them gently from both ends and push back together.
Arrange slices on prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat about 1 inch apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool a bit on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve as a savory cookie, snacks or dip iti n Labaneh. These bites will be delicios on a mezze table.