Easter Roast with Za’atar.

My family have just finished demolishing this vegetable roast, inspired by the foods available in Ancient Israel. This roast is special because Husband and I experimented with using za’atar, a traditional Middle Eastern herb blend.

We used a blend by Zaytoun, a company importing organic, fair trade food from Palestine. It’s mostly wild marjoram, blended with sesame seeds, dried sumac, a little sea salt and some olive oil. We got an 80g jar for £3:90 at Just Fair Trade in Leicester, but you can also buy it online at http://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/p-14137-buy-zaytoun-fair-trade-zaatar-herb-mix-80g-single-traidcraft-online-shop-aspx. And no, I’m not getting paid for this lol. Although, if anyone from Zaytoun sees this and wants to pay me, I ain’t gonna say no…

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 250g mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Za’atar.
  • To serve; almonds (flaked or chopped work better than whole), spinach, hummus, flatbreads.
  • Optional; vegan cheese and meat alternatives, olives.

Peel and chop the butternut, then par-boil it. Should only need ten minutes or so.

Whilst it cooks, chop the garlic, onions and leeks. It’s probably easier to get everything in a flatbread if you chop the mushrooms too, but Husband just really likes whole mushrooms so we didn’t.

Drain the butternut, then place all the vegetables into a roasting tray, pour over a slosh of olive oil (I invented this recipe; don’t expect exactness) and sprinkle over za’atar to taste. I used…something like a teaspoon and a half? Use your own judgement. Anyway, mix it all up until everything’s about evenly covered with seasoned oil – using your hands is easiest. Then just roast at Gas Mark 6/200C/400F for about half an hour.

Once everything’s cooked, mix in a few handfuls of spinach and a good handful of almonds, then let everyone help themselves.

This is nice because it’s so easy and doesn’t take up much time or energy in the kitchen – perfect if you have family over for Easter and/or are tired from working all week. It should serve 4-5 people, depending on how full everyone already is from eating Easter eggs for breakfast. Let me know if you try it out!


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