Zahtar or Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend that I’ve not had the pleasure to work with a lot with over the years. It’s a real shame because I love it! Earthy and nutty with hints of citrus makes it wonderful with so many foods. Hummus and pita are probably the first things people think of when they associate it, but it goes way beyond. Great with chicken, eggs and potatoes to name a few. I recently came across a Zahtar Egg Salad and figured why not incorporate it into a potato salad, and Zahtar Potato Salad was born.
I was not far off the mark thinking it would be delicious. The combination of briny, salty olives and creamy mayonnaise brings baby potatoes to life and makes for a great Mediterranean version. Even though I prefer the mayonnaise based potato salad, I did experiment with a warm salad version using olive oil to dress it instead of the mayonnaise. It too was a tasty version of potato salad but I just couldn’t stop scooping up the creamier version. Maybe because that was the way my mom used to make it and by far the type I’ve eaten most in my life.
The Zahtar I purchased contains salt, so I therefore found it was not necessary to add additional salt in this recipe. If your Zahtar does not contain salt, be sure to add salt to taste. You can also make your own if desired, here is a simple recipe from The Genius Kitchen
Recipe source for Zahtar Potato Salad: Inspired by Bon Appetit Mediterranean Egg Salad
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 4 large eggs
- 24 ounces baby potatoes about 1 small bag
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro lightly packed, plus more for garnish
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion 1/4" dice
- 1/3 cup sliced green olives
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise I used Hellmann's
- 1/4 cup low fat greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp Zahtar or Za'atar spice mix
- as needed cracked black pepper
- as needed salt see note
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and place pine nuts in a single layer on a small baking tray or pie plate. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, turning at least once until golden. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
- Heat enough water to just cover the eggs and simmer gently for no more than 12 minutes. Drain and immediately cool under cold running water. Once cooled, peel and coarsely chop.
- Steam or boil baby potatoes in simmering lightly salted water until just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes depending on size. Drain and cool under cold water. Allow potatoes to drain thoroughly once cool.
- Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, usually a baby potato cut in half or quartered makes for a nice size.
- In a medium size bowl stir together red onion, green olives, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, Zahtar and salt and pepper. Add chopped potatoes, eggs, pine nuts and cilantro. Gently stir into mayonnaise until combined. Serve immediately sprinkled with additional cilantro if desired. Can be chilled for several hours prior to serving if needed. Best served the day it is made.
-For time management, the potatoes, pine nuts and eggs can be cooked at the same time.
-The Zahtar I used contained salt, so little extra salt was needed. However, if your brand does not include salt you will need to adjust seasoning to taste.