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    Za'tar Crust

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    Za'tar Crust

    The eastern Mediterranean za’tar is a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, sesame, garlic, dried mint and oregano. It is particularly good on chicken, especially if slipped under the skin as well as over it, and is delicious on lamb and more strongly flavoured fish such as salmon, trout or mackerel.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 20 minutes plus at least 4 hours marinating

    Makes: 100ml


    • 2 tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
    • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
    • 2 tbsp Dried mint
    • 2 tbsp Dried oregano
    • ½ tsp Smoked paprika
    • 4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 Lemon, finely grated zest and juice


    1. The crust- Place the sesame seeds and spices in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder and lightly crush. Mix with the oil, lemon zest and juice and season to taste.
    2. Rub the mixture all over the food, cover and marinate for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge for meats and poultry. Fish needs only 30 minutes. Allow the food to return to room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.
    3. To cook- If barbecuing, turn frequently and baste with any excess marinade. To roast a whole chicken, rub all over and roast at 200°C/gas 6 for 1–1½ hours.

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    Cook's tips

    Can be used to prepare-
    4 Chicken legs,
    or 8 Lamb cutlets
    or 6 Lamb chops
    or 2 Pork tenderloins
    or 1 Whole chicken
    or 1kg Chicken wings, thighs or drumsticks
    or 8 Fish fillets or steaks


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