Z Is for Chickpeas Love Za’atar

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Kelsey McClellan)

If the chickpeas you’re eating have yet to be introduced to the spice blend za’atar, it’s time you changed that. The Middle Eastern mix of dried thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds is fragrant and balanced and is a versatile ingredient in a number of dishes — but when paired with chickpeas, it really shines.

The Best Spice Blend for Chickpeas

Pretty much any spice or herb pairs well with chickpeas, be it cumin, rosemary, or curry powder, but there’s just something about za’atar that is extra special. The spice blend is just a little tangy from the sumac, but the thyme makes it herbal and fresh while the sesame seeds lend nuttiness and just a little textural crunch to amplify those qualities already found in chickpeas. It’s a powerhouse of flavor in one little jar.

To see just how well the two work together, start small by simply sprinkling za’atar over a bowl of hummus — even if it’s store-bought. It’s an instant way to upgrade it. Then try tossing roasted chickpeas with the spice blend right when they come out of the oven to lend flavor and extra crunch to the already crispy snack. Even adding a bit of za’atar to a simple chickpea salad will boost it and make it shine. Experiment with the combination — you really can’t go wrong — because chickpeas love za’atar. and za’atar loves them right back.