Yesterday Randy and I were on the last leg of our trip coming back from Dallas. We stopped in Tucson for lunch and because Randy is always so sweet to let me end our trips with a new restaurant which we have never been, we began to think about Lebanese food, so as I drove, he looked up different places which served Middle Eastern food in Tucson. Well, we stumbled upon a place which was absolutely fabulous. After reading the reviews, we knew that was what we wanted. So we headed over to Zayna Mediterranean over on Speedway Blvd in Tucson. If you are ever there, you have got to go. As we pulled into the empty parking lot, we looked at each other and he said, “did you read the reviews and they were good?” I pulled up the reviews again and read a few to him so we ignored the empty parking lot and went in. As soon as we walked in, we could smell the flavors which always go along with Hummus, tabouli and pita bread. About 5 minutes after we arrive, the crowd began to come. By the time we left, there was only 2 empty tables. Apparently, this is a local favorite. As soon as they put our veggie plates in front of us, we knew we had a winner. The pita bread which adorned our plates was something I have never had at any Middle Eastern restaurant. When i ask the server what it was, she told me that it was with a paste of sesame seeds, olive oil and thyme. Last night after unpacking, I looked up a recipe for this and promised myself that I would be making it before the week was out. So here is the recipe I found. Cannot wait to have more, as the one piece that was sitting on our plate, was certainly not enough.
1 cup of za”atar (middle eastern spice mix consisting of dried oregano, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt)
Pita bread (as many as you need or want to serve)
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
Mix the za’atar and olive oil in a bowl and set aside.
Use as many pita loaves as you want and spread some of the za’atar over each piece. Heat in a 425 degree oven until bread is warm. IF desired, place some sliced fresh tomatoes and black olives over the top and serve. The restaurant did not use the olives or tomatoes, they heated their bread first and then just spread some of the mix over the warm bread and folded in over to serve. I think I will spread a little butter or olive oil on warm pita and then spread some of the za’atar paste over the warm bread. Serve it with some tabouli and hummus….it is delicious.