Jeffrey Cerciello's roasted leg of lamb with za'atar, preserved lemon and olives. Photograph by Misha Gravenor.
[the spice of life]
Sumac, sesame, and what’s known as “wild thyme” are the three must-haves in za’atar. The Middle Eastern seasoning can be added to olive oil to sop up with bread, slathered on poultry for an herb rub, or stirred into lebneh for a creamy dip. Mezze’s Micah Wexler gets a custom blend from Le Sanctuaire, but we found lovely varieties at Penzeys and the Spice Station.