"The Fruit Forager's Companion" Author Sara Bir

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Sara Bir wants to inspire all of us to get outside and forage for food! The author of The Fruit Forager's Companion stopped by to inspire us with a delicious recipe.

Join Sara for the following event:

  • Book Talk & Signing for The Fruit Forager's Companion
  • Thursday, July 19, 2018
  • 7:30 pm
  • Powell's City of Books
  • 1005 W Burnside St., Portland


Makes about 1?3 cup (80 ml)

The Middle Eastern spice blend za’atar is perhaps more of a concept than a recipe—the formulas for store-bought versions vary quite a bit. I’ve seen ones that are very heavy on the sesame seeds, and others that are mostly dried herbs.

When I use za’atar, I use a lot of it. Sprinkle it generously over fried eggs, on rich plain yogurt topped with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, on a bowl of hummus, or—my favorite—on cubed potatoes before roasting the hell out of them.

  • 1?4 cup (11 g) ground staghorn or scarlet sumac
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves, or 1 tablespoon marjoram plus 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Combine all of the ingredients in a mortar and pestle, and mash them up until the herbs are broken down somewhat and the aroma of the herbs and sesame seeds is fragrant.

Transfer to a clean jar, label, and date. Za’atar will keep for 1 year but will be most flavorful if used within a few months.

“This recipe is from Sara Bir's book The Fruit Forager’s Companion: Ferments, Desserts, Main Dishes, and More from Your Neighborhood and Beyond (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018) and is printed with permission from the publisher.”