Za’atar Bread Dip

Variations on this recipe abound, in Israeli, Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian and other Middle-eastern cookbooks and cooking blogs. Use for dipping flat (pita) breads, or thicker American artisinal breads.


1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Sesame Seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Za’atar
Freshly ground Black Peppercorns, to taste
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (or 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar)


Using a garlic press, or a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic clove.

Heat a small dry skillet over medium heat on the stove. Pour in the sesame seeds and lightly toast, about 1 – 2 min. Remove from heat and set aside.

Transfer garlic, sesame seeds and remaining ingredients to a small bowl. Gently whisk to combine. Adjust seasonings (and oil and lemon) to taste.

Can be stored, covered and refrigerated, up to one week, or not refrigerated, for a weekend (2-3 days).