I stocked up on armloads of Syrian delicacies on a recent trip to Lane Cove Markets, including a tub of the freshly made zaatar – an exotic spice mix containing herbs and spices such as sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, cumin, oregano and salt. (Just make sure to check the ingredients for any sneaky carbs.)
I used it as inspiration for a feast I served my sister when she popped over to console me this week – zaatar-rubbed chook with a dish of roasted cauliflower and zucchini in tahini sauce.
Preparing the dish lead to an entertaining exchange between the kids. The eldest announced to the youngest that Mummy had stuffed a lemon up the chook’s bum. And the youngest replied in horror: “Not one of our chooks?”
No, fortunately Nibble and Pecky have avoided citrus enemas.
Forgive the roast potatoes in the photo, they were for the Sprogs, who aren’t the least bit interested in lowering their carb intake.
Recipe: Zaatar chicken with roasted tahini vegies
1 large free-range chook
3 tablespoons of zaatar + 1 teaspoon
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, one juiced, one cut into quarters
1 small cauliflower head, cut into florets
1 large zucchini, cut into fat chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
METHOD: Heat oven to 180C. Mix 3 tablespoons zaatar with 1 tablespoon olive oil to make a paste. Rub over chicken. Stuff lemon wedges in chicken cavity. Place on a baking tray and roast for 1 hour. Toss cauliflower and zucchini in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and arrange on an oven tray, sprinkle with sesame seeds and place in oven for last 25 minutes of chook roasting. Make the tahini sauce by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and sauteing the garlic gently until soft. Stir in tahini, yohurt, juice of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of zaatar. Drizzle sauce over cauliflower and zucchini and serve with roast chicken.
AS FOR THE ALIENS …
Novocastrians should head to Olive Tree Markets on Saturday, where my talented niece Phoebe will be selling her hand-knitted chooks and aliens. Go Phoebe!