Za'atar is an incredibly versatile Middle Eastern spice blend, one of my favorites. Particularly this time of year when it's a welcome addition to all sorts of roasted vegetables, soups and stews, or simply sprinkled over everything from yogurt, to eggs, to savory granola.
In the realm of garlic soup recipes, this is it. Inspired by a version in Richard Olney's The French Menu Cookbook, it is made by simmering a dozen cloves of garlic in water with a few herbs, then thickening it with a mixture of egg and shredded cheese. So simple and good.
This is a favorite flavor-packed meal in a jar - an herb-flecked, hearty, Italian Barley Soup with a bit of a hippie twist. Just add water and a can of crushed tomatoes and you’re on your way to a really great pot of soup.
Some of the things I've learned about how to dry herbs in the spring and summer. I love seeking out unusual varietals like caraway thyme, pineapple sage, fresh coriander. At the market, some will appear for a week or two, then aren't seen again for another year.
I call this the magic sauce recipe. In part, because it makes everything it touches shimmy with deliciousness. It's magic like that. Technically, it's a riff on a chimichurri sauce - one that has veered off the rails in a big way.