Merry Christmas! Or rather, Shnorhavor Surb Tsnund, as we would say in Armenia 🇦🇲 Yes, today, the 6th January, is Armenian Christmas. A day of celebration no different to traditional Christmas’s celebrate across the globe. A time of gift giving, plentiful food, festivities and sparkling, glistening, twirling and dancing delights.
Delights dominantly being… surprise surprise: of the culinary persuasion! 👩🍳
Food in Middle Eastern culture is a huge element of life, socialising, love and appreciation of others. Food creates bonds with those we love, it brings people together, it creates memories and tells stories… which is why in Armenia, the country that birthed Christianity, is so passionate about fresh, home cooked meals that warm the soul and fill the body with flavour.
One of the most profound and arguably simplest pleasures in Armenia is Za’atar Ma’nouche, or Lebanese thyme bread. Though eaten across various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, it’s a staple in Armenian culture.
The recipe is so incredibly easy and can be enjoyed at breakfast time, a snack, or an accompaniment to a main meal. Serve solo as it is in all it’s thymey beauty, or top with feta/halloumi (melted is even more delicious, duh!), or perhaps create a wonderfully curious tastebud conundrum by grilling peaches or apricots and serving this way also! Sweet and savoury is a blessing, and I will fight anyone who disagrees.
Come at me bro.
Anyway, bulldozing Bucci aside, here is the recipe!
BUCCI’S ZA’ATAR MA’NOUCHE
Aka Garlic Bread’s Sexy Cousin
Olive oil (I like to use this one)
White bread (the fresher the better, and obviously if you can get your hands on some PROPER Middle Eastern bread then my dear, you’re REALLY gonna get the real deal! Something like this, this or this will be perfect!)
An oven, if that counts as an ingredient 😂
Line a baking tray with parchment or tin foil
Place your bread on the tray lovingly
Drizzle olive oil onto the bread
With either your fingers or as spoon, load up the bread with the za’atar and gently rub into the bread with the oil until it’s more of a paste topping than a sprinkle. You want to merge the oil and za’atar together. They wanna get married, so let them.
Pop in the oven for 10-15 mins until the topping darkens and you’re house smells like a Lebanese bakery
Eat warm straight from the oven, or even allow to cool and have more as a flavoured crisp bread with a salad or as a snack!
This post was written in association with Green Valley Supermarket.
Located in High Street Kensington London, or Marble Arch London (for their larger flagship store), pop down to Green Valley to get everything you could possibly dream of for a proper Lebanese / Middle Eastern feast!
Visit their official website here to discover just a handful of some of their culinary delights!
Love Bucci xx