This July 4, toss the salt and pepper in favor of za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend.
The 4th of July is the quintessential American summer holiday, and not only because it's the country's birthday. It's also a watertight excuse to revel in guilty national pleasures like beaches, beer and burgers.
Some 4th of July purists say the holiday just isn’t the same without a classic grilled burger. I tend to agree, except for the classic part. One reason the good ol' U.S.A. is so great is that we are one big melting pot of nationalities and cultures. So when it came time to make a truly great burger, I turned to Middle Eastern influences. Instead of boring salt and pepper, I made the spice blend za’atar my seasoning of choice.
Talk about classic: za'atar goes back to to the Bible, where it's called ezov. You can find it in spice shops or Middle Eastern specialty stores, but it's also fun to make your own.
Sumac, which adds a citrus flavor to the herby seasoning, can be found at Whole Foods or spice shops. I’ve used za’atar in everything from dips to eggs to roasted vegetables to chicken, but this burger may be the best use yet!
Amy Kritzer is a food writer and recipe developer in Austin, TX who enjoys cooking, theme parties and cowboys. She challenges herself to put a spin on her Bubbe’s traditional Jewish recipes and blogs about her endeavors at What Jew Wanna Eat. You can follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook and watch her cooking videos on Google+.
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