ZA'ATAR PESTO by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

hey! i’m popping in real quick to share yet another sunday meal prep sauce. this one’s for a wonderful twist on traditional pesto where we essentially replace the basil with parsley and za’atar spice. if you’re not familiar with za’atar it’s a spice blend traditionally made from dried marjoram, thyme and/or oregano, toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, and sometimes salt. it’s generally used as a rub on meats, sprinkled on fish or poultry, added to roasted veggies, mixed with oil to top bread, etc.!

today we’re mixing za’atar spice/seasoning into a herby/nutty/garlicky base of parsley, toasted pine nuts, fresh garlic, and olive oil. it’s one of my favorite ways to utilize za’atar and it makes for such a bright and light summer sauce. i first had a similar pesto at a restaurant in the west village. it was one of mine and frank’s last meals out before we became parents to amesy. but the restaurant has since closed, and we’ve moved almost 3,000 miles away, so the need to make my own version of what i remember that pest to taste like has been somewhat essential. and i thought i ought to share this recipe here with you because it’s that good!

before i leave with the recipe, here are a few ways to use this sauce to spice up your food/life throughout the week:

  • forever and always on this leaf-less salad. the pesto acts just like a salad dressing here, and all you may need is a bit more salt and you’re good to go!

  • swirled into this flatbread (literally one of the most delicious things to use it for. just replace the first 5 ingredients with a few dollops of the za’atar pesto).

  • use as a marinade for veggie, chicken, or even fish (i love salmon here) kebabs.

  • mixed into roasted veggies.

  • mixed into potato salad or roasted potatoes

  • on flatbread, pizza, or pasta!

happy sunday, friends! xo

za’atar pesto | v

| makes just under 1 cup |

print the recipe


  1. in the cup of a food processor fitted with a metal “s” blade, combine the parsley, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, a few pinches salt, and a couple cracks of pepper. while the food processor is running, drizzle in the 1/2 cup of olive oil and blend until everything is broken down and sufficiently mixed together, stopping a couple times to scrape down the sides of the container. taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice, if needed.

  2. scrape the parsley and olive oil mixture into a bowl. stir in the za’atar spice until combined. taste and adjust any seasonings, if necessary. scrape the za’atar pesto into a lidded jar. pour over the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to prevent the pesto from browning in the fridge.

  3. za’atar pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. let pesto stand at room temp roughly 30 minutes before using.


  • 1 cup fresh parsley

  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

  • juice from 1/2 small lemon

  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

  • salt & freshly ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil to top

  • 1/4 cup za’atar spice

Za'atar Swirl Bread by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

as i'm sure a lot of you know, my love for chickpea flour runs deep, deep enough to write an entire cookbook dedicated to it.  that's not to say that my affinity for the flour didn't fade.  after recipe testing with it for over a year or so, i developed a distaste for it.  after i turned in my manuscript, i was somewhat repulsed by its subtle flavor for a good year.  each time i went to the grocery store i stocked up on chickpea flour, so when i was done with writing it, i felt a sense of freedom that i could shop without the demand to purchase it.  there are still some favorite recipes that i make almost weekly, namely socca.  frank loves it. plus, it's an easy meal to pull together with a hearty vegetable for dinner, and (bonus!) frank knows how to make it, so that means i can get a night to not worry about prepping a meal.  

since having amesy our meals have become somewhat of a routine; a well-oiled machine, i would say.  i generally worry about what we're going to eat way too far in advance of dinner. so having a little schedule provides some much needed sanity in a world of baby-uncertainty and chaos.  and while i love routine (almost to a fault), i also crave spontaneity at times.  which is why i love this za'atar bread recipe with my whole heart.  it's very much like socca in that it's made from chickpea flour and water, but it's is baked, not fried, and has an abundance of flavor from the za'atar.  this little dish was all i needed on "socca night" to get me out of my routine (while still kinda existing in one) and jazz it up a little.  plus, i'm not sure i had this much fun cooking a dish in a really long time (thank you jessica!).  polka-dotting the bread batter with za'atar oil, and then swirling them to make super easy/fancy looking swirls is a good night in my book.  i guess the moral of this story is go beyond what makes you comfortable, if only a teeny bit, it may make all the difference.

this recipe comes from jessica murane's debut cookbook, one part plant.  i was first introduced to jessica via twitter (i think), when we were first starting out in the blog world.  jessica had graciously asked me to contribute a little write-up on one of my favorite ingredients and i was completely taken aback that someone was interested enough in what i thought, let alone what a favorite ingredient of mine was.  and from that time on, i learned that jessica's way was to engage, discuss, and understand, as she had done on her blog, and now, on her podcast.  she carries that beautifully into her book with a frank conversation about how she healed her body/mind/soul with plant-based whole foods.  her recipes are simple, full flavored, and vibrant.  there's a recipe for white bean buffalo hummus (for those of us who can't digest chickpea easily - hello!), an open-faced falafel sandwich, and a recipe for chocolate hazelnut crispies that are all on my to-make list when i'm off of my cleanse.  in the meantime, i'll be swirling some za'atar into my bread from now on! 


za'atar swirl bread | v + gf

the za'atar bread is amazing as is.  i happen to love garlic, so i added a clove to the batter after adding the water.  i also sprinkled some flaky sea salt on top when it had finished baking.  

| makes 8 servings |

  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac
  • 5 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
  • 1 cup water


  1. first, make the za'atar mixture: in a small bowl, combine the sumac, sesame seeds, thyme, salt, and oil.  set the mixture aside to let the flavors meld until your batter is ready.
  2. add the flour to a medium bowl and stir in a little water at a time until you have a thin batter.  set it aside for 2 hours.
  3. preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8-or 9-inch round pan (jessica notes that she prefers a cast-iron skillet for this - and so do pour the batter into the pan.  drop and scatter 1/2-teaspoon-size scoops of your za'atar spice mixture on top of the batter.  it should look like za'atar polka dots.  with a knife or skewer, zigzag and swirl through the batter from one side of the pan to the other. make sure you go all the way to the edges; you want to be sure to distribute the spices throughout.
  4. bake the bread for 25-30 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the dough pulls slightly away from the sides.  let it cool for at least 5 minutes.  cut and serve.  jessica notes: this bread makes a great appetizer to go with dips and spreads, especially hummus and baba ganoush.

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heidi's cauliflower pasta w/ za'atar + olives by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i'm pretty sure that when there's a recipe labeled "heidi's..." that we as cookbook readers, food blog consumers, and general fans all know who we're referring to. heidi swanson needs no introduction, she has in many ways built the food blog "house", among other endeavors.  her blog, 101 cookbooks was the first food blog i ever read; her images, her words, her recipes, and the ease at which she allows us all to follow along, as if she were a trusted friend.  

i turned to her blog and cookbooks when i was seeking new ways to change my diet; her approach to cooking and food helped me to formulate more clearly what it meant to eat real food, to be nourished, and to treat yourself well.  how an everyday, or any day, story of food, friendship, family, inspiration, or plain old life, find their way into your home, can get compiled into a meal and served on the kitchen table. heidi transcended that barrier that is the computer screen, and invited us in, to a space beyond recipes and pretty pictures.

her new cookbook, near and far: recipes inspired by home and travel is simply a jewel.  when it showed up on my doorstep this summer i found myself (like a teenager to a pop star) constantly looking through the beautiful pages of her book, placing it on my kitchen table, and then picking it back up to read every word written on each page. the book is organized by regions of the world, starting with san francisco, breaking for an en route section dedicated to packing a nourishing plane ride meal. the book then moves through morocco, japan, italy, and france; and then ending in india.  the chapters are rounded brilliantly offering ideas and different ways of coming to a dish.  it's a journey through different parts of the world, and even if you've been there yourself, you can't help but to admire and cherish the lens through which heidi views the world, and in that, her approach to preparing beautiful meals.  

wishing you all a wonderful start to the fall season, xo!

heidi's cauliflower pasta | dolly and oatmeal

heidi's cauliflower pasta (gluten free + dairy free alternative)

recipe from: Near and Far Recipes Inspired By Home and Travel by Heidi Swanson

this recipes comes from heidi's san francisco section which highlights an inspiring array of inviting bites and meals.  i made this recipe with a few alternatives to make it more friendly to my diet, which i provide below heidi's recipe.  this dish is nothing short of flavorful, simple and comforting, especially for a cool fall day. 

| serves 4-6 |

  • 8 ounces yuba skins or dried pasta
  • 1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 12 ounces cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 15 green olives, rinsed, smashed, pitted, and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche, plus more for serving (*dairy-free alternative ingredients below)
  • 2 teaspoons za'atar


  • if you're using yuba skins, cut them into 1/2-inch strips and separate the "noodles" into single layers, creating a light, airy tangle of yuba. heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and pan-fry the yuba with a generous pinch of salt for about 7 minutes, until the edges of the yuba take on a nice amount of color and crisp up some. remove from the pan and set aside. (Alternatively, if you're using pasta, cook according to the package instructions in well-salted water. Drain and set aside.)
  • to cook the cauliflower, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until the edges brown. about 30 seconds before you think the the cauliflower will be cooked, stir in the olives. remove from the heat, wait about 10 seconds, then stir in the creme fraiche. serve over the bed of yuba skins or pasta, either on individual plates or family-style, sprinkled generously with za'atar and drizzled with creme fraiche.  

*for a gluten-and-dairy-free alternative:

  • for a gluten-free alternative use yuba skins (some are seasoned with miso that contain gluten, so be careful of which ones you purchase), or use a gluten-free pasta/noodle of choice.
  • i made a dairy-free alternative using a coconut yogurt and tahini based sauce. i doubled the amounts here, which provided me with some leftovers for drizzling as heidi's instructs to use just before serving. 

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