There is just something so special about Za’atar, and of course potatoes. Za’atar is a very exotic spice that’s used in middle eastern dishes. I fell in love with this magical spice when I was 15 years old and visited Israel for the first time. Every where you go there are these street vendors cooking up fresh Laffa bread, also known as Taboon Bread because it is cooked in a Tabun Oven. They then slather this piping hot bread with labne (a thick yogurt-based cheese) and a very very generous dusting of Za’atar. They wrap the whole thing up in parchment paper and hand it to you fresh, hot, and bursting with flavor. It’s really the most wonderful treat.
So while I was making these potatoes for Shabbat dinner last week, I really felt the nostalgia of being back on the streets of Israel and picking up one of these delicious treats every chance I had. No matter how full you were from your giant falafel or shawarma lunch, when you pass the street vender with the laffa bread, you stop and pick one up!
1 bag of small golden potatos
1 medium purple onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons turmeric (for great color)
Salt & Pepper
1. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. Slice or chop your potatoes in any bite size shape you want. I made thin rounds because it gets nice and crunchy on both sides and makes it easy to flip. Slice your onions in thick stips. Thicker than your potatoes because these will cook much faster.
3. In a large bowl, mix well – all your seasonings, potatoes, onions, and just 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
4. Spread everything out evenly on your baking sheet. Sprinkle some more Za’atar, optional. Pop in the oven for about 15 mins.
5. After about 15 mins remove from the oven and give it a good toss. Add more lemon pepper, za’atar and olive oil if necessary. Parchment paper really helps with your potatoes not sticking but sometimes you need a little extra oil to get them extra crispy.
6. Remove from the oven and put in a serving dish. I added even more Za’atar right before serving because this spice is really good in generous quantities. You could also just serve the za’atar on the side and let your guests sprinkle on the extra. To make these extra lemony, sqeeze a little lemon juice right on top just before serving too.
Pro-Tip: You can cook these halfway throught and finish them off with one last bake in the oven just before serving. This way, you and your guest can enjoy them piping hot just like that street vendor laffa!
Enjoy it veganly much!
Originally Posted on: May 18, 2015