Cooling Summer Salad w/ Za'atar Pesto / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

we've been stuck in one of the worst heatwaves i can remember here in nyc.  the heat index has been over 100 degrees for the past few days, and while our apartment is staying pretty cool as long as we don't turn the oven on, there were times where me and my 8 1/2 month pregnant body shut down.  there was one particular night where i dramatically cried myself to sleep and frank placed ice packs around my extremities to sooth my overly emotional reaction to a warm bedroom.  if you haven't already noticed, he's a trooper, guys.  but aside from tears and ice packs, the heat has brought us back to the basics. and by that i mean a ton of cool, fresh summery salads!

we've been making this PACT salad (get it? peach, avocado, cucumber & tomato salad!?) at least 2 nights a week.  depending on what we're eating with it, there's 2 variations i keep in constant rotation.  there's a spicy version where there's minced cilantro, a good bit of lime juice, california olive ranch olive oil (always!), some flaky sea salt, and a couple dashes of ground cayenne pepper. it's the perfect hot weather salad, especially when the veg has been chilling in the fridge for a bit.

the other variation is the recipe i'm sharing today.  it has the same salad components, but a totally different flavor profile thanks to some good old za'atar.  if you're not familiar with za'atar it's typically made up of thyme and marjoram, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and ground sumac which gives it a tangy kick.  frank and i had a similar salad the other week at a restaurant.  it was a tomato and peach salad served with toasted pine nuts and a za'atar pesto, and it was amazing!  i knew immediately that i needed to recreate the it for a homemade version, one we could enjoy whenever we wanted.  the pesto is super simple and aside from the prepared za'atar, it doesn't require any other herbs.  it's blended up with toasted pine nuts, some added lemon juice, a clove of garlic, and my favorite of california olive ranch's olive oil, their rich and robust flavor, offering the pesto, and the salad, just the right flavor which has already become the staple in our kitchen.  so whether you use the za'atar pesto on this particular salad as a marinade, or schmeared on a piece of crusty bread, it's a must-try!   

this post was created in partnership with california olive ranch.  all thoughts and opinions are my own.  thank you for supporting the sponsors that help keep dolly and oatmeal running! 

cooling summer salad w/ za'atar pesto | v

the za'atar pesto makes just enough for the salad, so if you're wanting leftovers, i suggest doubling or even tripling the recipe.  

| serves 4-6 |

za'atar pesto


  • 2 pounds mixed tomatoes, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced into small wedges
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • flaky sea salt
  • extra za'atar, for garnish


  1. make the za'atar.  in a food processor, pulse the za'atar, nuts, lemon juice, and garlic until roughly ground.  with the motor running, drizzle in the oil until everything is combined.  season with salt.
  2. in a large bowl, gently toss together the tomatoes, peaches, avocado, cucumber, and nuts.  add the za'atar pesto and give it all another good toss.  taste and add more salt if needed.  serve and sprinkle with za'atar.   

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