I saw zaatar burgers on Bria’s blog, West of Persia, a while ago and have been wanting to make them ever since. Even though I didn’t use her recipe, I totally owe the idea to her. It would have never occurred to me to use zaatar on meats as I usually associate it with baked goods. The only way I’ve used it in the past is sprinkled and toasted on bread that was brushed with olive or argan oil .
Zaatar is made with a variety of dried spices, herbs, nuts and seeds so it brings so much depth of flavor to these burgers. The prevalent flavors in the zaatar I used were oregano and sesame which I could strongly tatse in every bite. It is so convenient to have so many flavors in one mix instead of having to combine separate ground herbs, spices and seeds to season food. That’s the wonder of zaatar.
Each zaatar is a little different depending on the ingredients used to make it. It can be salted or unsalted. Mine was salted so I didn’t add any salt to my burgers.
1 pound ground beef or lamb
Sea salt to taste, optional (Only use salt if zaatar is unsalted)
8 teaspoons zaatar mix (or more, to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 hamburger buns
4 tomato slices
Divide the ground meat into 4 equal parts and shape them into patties. Salt both sides, if necessary.
Sprinkle each burger with 2 teaspoons of zaatar using one teaspoon on each side and pressing the zaatar lightly to make it stick to the burgers.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers until browned (almost blackened), about 5 minutes per side. Serve on a hamburger bun with a slice of tomato, if you wish.