This za’atar manakeesh is almost not even a recipe – it’s so easy and only needs three ingredients. I always have the first two in my pantry and the third ingredient in my overpacked freezer. I sometimes make this as a quick snack when guests come over or have it for breakfast with a fried egg on top. Another delicious variation is to add a few slices of cheese on top (mozzarella would work well) before toasting it, which makes it almost like a pizza. In fact, when we first moved to Saudi ten years ago and weren’t familiar with Arabic food, we would always request “pizza” from our mom, which would be this za’atar manakeesh or another variation, akkawi manakeesh.
If you want to make your own za’atar spice mix, Meinhilde’s recipe is here. If you’re interested in baking your own bread, Meinhilde makes her own za’atar manakeesh here. Unfortunately I don’t have the patience required for to make bread from scratch, which is why I love this recipe. I still get a hot flatbread and don’t need to do any kneading.
I like to serve this za’atar manakeesh as a full breakfast or as a side for lunch and dinner along with some hummus and a fresh salad. On a trip to Quebec City last summer, we saw another variation at a Lebanese restaurant called La Galette libanaise. The main offering on the menu was a galette, or a full za’atar manakeesh as the base of a sandwich stuffed with a protein. Donatello and I loved the smoked salmon version while Karlos ate the lamb sandwich. All were delicious and we stopped by this place three times in our five day stay to the old city. My point is that this is a great recipe to have on hand when you need a yummy snack and the options are endless.
- 1 tsp good olive oil
- 2 tsp za'atar spice mix
- 2 flatbreads (such as pita or naan)
- Divide the olive oil in two and pour each half onto middle of flatbread. Use your fingers to spread oil evenly around bread.
- Sprinkle one half of the za'atar mix on one flatbread, repeat on other bread.
- If you have a toaster oven, toast until bread is hot. If you prefer to use the oven, warm up bread under the broiler for 2 minutes.