Zaatar (thyme) bread … مطبق الزعتر

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Zaatar bread … مطبق الزعتر . Is a Palestinian pastry mostly made in spring, which is the season of collecting fresh wild thyme. It is a flat bread stuffed with sautéed fresh zaatar leaves, onions and sumac and I like to add crumbled white cheese to mine. When baking these pastries my house smells phenomenal.

مطبق الزعتر الاخضر الفلسطيني

  • 2 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole weat flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbs powdered milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lukewarm water
  • More olive oil for brushing 

For filling

  • 3 cups fresh green thyme (zaatar)
  • 1 medium size onion diced 
  • 2 tbs sumac 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • White cheese crumbled (optional) 

Method:

  1. To make the dough: in the mixer bowl add flour, salt, powdered milk and mix to combine.Make a well in the middle and stir in the yeast and honey and 1/4 cup of the luke warm water. 
  2. Let rest 5 minutes until the yeast mixture is frothy. Add the rest of the water with the olive oil and with the paddle hook attached to the mixer, mix for a minute.
  3. Replace the paddle hook with the dough hook and start kneading until a soft dough ball is obtained and the sides of the bowl are clean.
  4. Brush some olive oil on top of the dough and cover to rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile start preparing the Zaatar filling.
  6. Take off the Zaatar out of the branches and wash it for 3 times by changing the water each time until the water comes out clean. 
  7. Get rid of excess water by squeezing the zaatar leaves between your hands.
  8. In a medium sized frying pan and on medium heat on the stove add olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. 
  9. Stir in salt, black pepper, sumac, and Zaatar .
  10. Sauté for a minute and transfer the Zaatar mixture to a plate to cool down.
  11. In a big tray that is brushed with olive oil, divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls.
  12. Brush a little olive oil on top of a clean surface and start rolling out each ball into very thin squares.
  13. Brush some olive oil on top of each square to help rolling out.
  14. Spread a table spoon of the thyme ( Zaatar ) mixture in the middle and top it with a tablespoon of the cheese.
  15. Fold dough the same way as in the picture.
  16. Keep repeating the same procedure with all the balls.
  17. Leave them aside to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
  18. With the roller pin flatten each square to make it bigger (as shown in picture).
  19. In a oven tray covered with parchment paper arrange the Zaatar squares and brush the top with olive oil.
  20. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  21. Arrange the Zaatar pastries in the serving plate and brush with more olive oil.

Enjoy!

Swiss chard and lentils soup …. سلق و عدس

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Swiss chard and lentils soup is a traditional Old Palestinian  soup that is made with chard, potatoes, whole chickpeas and lots of lemon juice. What you get is a naturally gluten free vegan nutritious, delicious and satisfying meal for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils washed 
  • Bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 small potatoes diced
  • 1 cup whole cooked chickpeas drained
  • 1 tsp dried coriander crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili crushed ( optional)
  • 2 tbs corn oil
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Salt to taste 

Method:

  1. Wash theSwiss chard really good
  2. Wash the lentils 
  3. Cut the stems of the chard leaves and set them aside
  4. Chop the leaves roughly and the stems.
  5. In a medium sized pot heat the 2 tbs of oil and sauté the onion until translucent. 
  6. Stir in the coriander, cumin and chili.  
  7. Stir in the lentils and potatoes.
  8. Add the broth and let cook on a medium low heat for about 30 minutes.
  9. Stir in the Swiss chard and chickpeas and let cook for about 20 minutes more.
  10. Taste the soup to adjust the salt
  11. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and dried mint.
  12. Serve it hot with lemon wedges and toasted bread.

Enjoy!