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Crisp Lavash with Zaatar: Love is Subtle.

I am not a movie person. Nope. What I mean by that is that I do not seek out movies; I reluctantly, carefully, stubbornly choose a select few to watch once or twice a month. My tastes are rather eclectic. Some of my favorite movies are Fight Club, American Beauty, Clueless, and Before Sunrise. Generally speaking, I don’t have a preferred genre, only a gut feeling. I’m often drawn to watching a movie within the first 30 seconds of a preview. If it doesn’t spark with me then, I’m convinced it won’t spark with me ever.

There is one movie I will watch over and over. And over again. And it’s name is Love Actually. Perhaps ridiculous? I have watched this movie while I was single and waiting for love. When I first started dating Matt and thinking it might actually turn into something. And after I was married. I have watched it curled up in bed with my mom. And at a sleepover with my roommates. I have watched it and cried, because I was sad. I have watched it and felt all warm and gooey inside, because I was happy. To this day, it’s my very favorite holiday movie, because it always reassures me that love is bigger than anything else out there. And at the end of the day, if you don’t have love, what do you have, really?

In my opinion, love is not grand. It’s subtle. The biggest kind of love is unspoken. It is not written in cards. Perhaps because it’s so delicate, some of us might not even detect it right away. Like those crushes we had in high school. We thought we were so OBVIOUS with our intentions, when in fact, the people we admired from afar were frankly hardly aware of our love, or even our existence.

This is a very simple little recipe. For those of you who subscribe to the Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box you have received (or will soon receive!) a very special Premium ingredient in your box by a lovely spice company called Sami’s Kitchen. This spice is called Zaatar. My friend Christian, who is Lebanese, was telling me that in Lebanon, each Zaatar blend is quite unique, but it is the spice that everybody knows. Sam, who is the co-founder of Sami’s Kitchen, a family-owned small business in New Zealand, informed me that when he launched his spice company, he wanted people to not just discover Middle Eastern cuisine, but to play around with new flavors, incorporating them into things that they would normally cook. I love this approach; a little sparkle to your old sweater.

Pairings Box subscribers will find a tasty recipe highlighting the spice (if you make it and share it, please let me know! I love hearing from you, friends!). Here, on the site, I’m sharing a very simple, and very addictive recipe for Crisp Lavash with Zaatar. I have made this so many times, I can’t even tell you. When you rub lavash (a Middle Eastern flatbread) with a little olive oil, sprinkle it with zaatar and crisp it up in the oven, the result is magic. Magic. Zaatar has this beautiful tanginess to it from another Middle Easten spice called sumac, and a crunch from sesame seeds. You can serve this in place of bread at the table, as a party appetizer, or eat it as an afternoon snack.

P.S. If you haven’t already, please check out the beautiful new digital food magazine, Foodiecrush. It’s absolutely stunning. Pssst. We’re so honored to be profiled in a tasty feature where we share recipes, Musical Pairings, and more.

P.P.S. Have you heard of Google Currents? It’s a brand new way to experience online content on your mobile device, and Turntable Kitchen is one of the 180 ‘editions’ featured in their launch. You can download Google Currents for your Android, iPhone, and iPad to enjoy Turntable Kitchen in an optimized format for your mobile device. Sweet!

Crisp Lavash with Zaatar

soft lavash (found at specialty and Middle Eastern stores)
extra virgin olive oil
Zaatar (I used Sami’s Kitchen)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Place one piece of lavash (or two, side by side, depending on how large the pieces you’re working with are) on a baking sheet and use a silicone brush to evenly brush it with olive oil. Sprinkle with a generous amount of zaatar.
2. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the lavash until it becomes lightly golden and crisp (about 5-8 minutes). Watch it closely. Remove the lavash from the oven and let it cool before breaking it up into 4-5 pieces.
3. Repeat with as many pieces of lavash as you’d like.

Musical Pairings: Cat Power – You Are Free + Crisp Lavash with Zaatar

More on the turntable.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I’m on a major Middle Eastern food kick right now and can’t get enough of Za’atar. I remember seeing American Beauty in theaters as a teenager and have loved the movie ever since. Putting Love, Actually on my list to see.

  • billy.khor


  • I adored your feature in Foodie Crush! Bravo!

    Also, this is one of my alltime favorite CDs!

  • Looks fabulous! I’ve been seeing zaatar and sumac in recipes lately. I’ll have to hunt some down! Congrats on the Foodiecrush featureβ€”I really enjoyed it. And Google Currents? Cool!

  • I’m really starting to dabble with more and more Middle Easten spices in my home cooking and I am loving it. If you can’t find zaatar, you can make your own (though you will need to find the sumac ;)). Thanks so much about the kind words on Foodiecrush! We were really thrilled with it, too. Nice to see so many fellow bloggers included as well!

  • Thanks!! Isn’t the magazine just gorgeous?

  • I am on the same kick, clearly! Oh and you MUST watch Love, Actually…Especially at this time of year!

  • “a little sparkle to your old sweater” – that’s the perfect to describe this recipe

  • I love Love Actually! That reminds me – I need to watch that, and Elf, before the year is over. And now I know what to make to enjoy with them! πŸ™‚

  • Renee

    I remember seeing “Love Actually” for the first time 8 years ago in that dark movie theatre, and I fell in love with it then and still adore it now. Hugh Grant! So classic, and the themes ring true today as they did then. This sounds like a tasty snack – a perfect accompaniment to the movie.

  • Megan Gordon

    Excited to check out this magazine, Kasey. And I have to say: your photos are insanely beautiful lately. Really stunning. My “Love Actually” is A Lot Like Love with Amanda Peet. Never get sick of it and it’s actually not at all that great of a film. When I’m sick, sad, whatever…love that movie. Hope your week’s off to a good start, my friend. xox

  • Elf! Yes! I love holiday-time movie watching πŸ™‚ Have a great one, Janet!

  • It’s crazy to me how OLD that movie actually is. But it’s one of those movies that never gets old to me. Of course, who doesn’t love Hugh Grant πŸ˜‰ Happy holidays, Renee!

  • First of all, wow. Thank you so much for the compliment, Megan. It means a lot- esp. coming from you! Second, I really need to see A lot Like Love. It doesn’t ring a bell, but it sounds like the perfect girly movie for a cozy night in. Hope you’re having a great week! xo

  • Mmmm….the crispy lavash sounds really wonderful. I bought zaatar for a recipe a while back and I’ve sprinkled it here and there since. It’s so unique. We actually have wonderful middle eastern restaurants around here, so I have a weak spot for that kind of food.

    Love Actually is one of my top 5 favorite movies. I remember watching it with two of my bridesmaids a few weeks before our wedding and we all went a little crazy for Carl πŸ™‚ Of course, Colin Firth has always been reason enough to watch any movie for me.

  • I think I might be the only person on earth who has not yet seen Love, Actually (well, except for Jess πŸ™‚ )! Maybe this will finally be the year. The lavash sounds so wonderful and congratulations on the foodiecrush feature! Love it!

  • I have yet to see Love Actually; however, I had a friend who is obsessed. I need to watch it. Congratulations on your features in Foodiecrush and Google Currents!!

  • It’s such a cheesy holiday movie but I can’t help but love it. Thanks so much for the kind words! It’s been a great week at Turntable Kitchen πŸ™‚

  • Do it! This year. It’s the perfect time to watch it. Thank you, lovely!

  • Last summer we were in a foodie store where they had samples of some kind of cheese with Zaa’tar sprinkled on it. Loved it, so we bought a jar of the spice which has until now been languishing in our cupboard. Thanks to you I made a tasty snack for my wife’s book club and will add this to our repertoire!
    I also checked out Currents because of you and while you are right it is easier to read, good for bringing the iPhone to the kitchen to cook, I couldn’t see or read comments, which is a serious drag. But thanks for the scoop anyway.

  • That’s awesome, Jeremy! I’m glad you were able to find a new use for your Zaatar! Re: Currents, that’s a very good point! I agree that seeing comments (and being able to make comments right inside the app) would be a really awesome edition. Maybe in rev 2? πŸ™‚

  • Peter Block

    I really like the pic of these. I am hosting a Middle Eastern themed food party this Sunday night and these would be great to serve with my dips. I liked the idea so much that I featured them as part of my Friday Five – Middle Eastern addition over @Feed Your Soul Too –

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