Recipes and Links

Cod with Za'atar and Olive Relish


Serves: 2


To make the Approx 2 Tbsp of Za’atar (unless you are lucky enough to have some in your cupboard!):

1 Tbsp dried thyme

1 tsp lightly toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp sumac (substitute paprika and a little lemon zest)

Med-sized pinch (if there is such a thing) of dried oregano

Pinch of kosher salt (the olives are salty so don’t overdo)

2 Tbsp mild-medium Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice

For the Fish and Olive Relish:

2 Tbsp of Za’atar from recipe above

2 Tbsp Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice

1 lb of cod fillet or loin cut into 4 pieces (try to keep them the same size to cook evenly)

1/2 cup pitted olives (I prefer Kalamata olives but in a pinch I’ve used black olives and green olives half and half)

2 Tbsp Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice

1 tsp Flying Olive Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, more to taste

1 small bunch of cilantro (about 1.5 ozs) stalks and leaves

½ tsp-? chili powder, if desired (I used Ancho Chili powder in this), optional


Make the Za’atar. Grind the spices in a spice mill or mortar and pestle (or just use it like it is!) Mix it with 2 Tbsp of Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice to make a paste. Smear the paste over the pieces of cod and add just a pinch of salt. (If you have time, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1- 8 hours)

Make the relish by placing the pitted olives, 2 Tbsp Flying Olive EVOO of Choice, Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, cilantro, and chili powder in a blender or food processor. Pulse until everything is chopped but not liquefied, scraping down the sides as needed.

Heat a skillet with the remaining 2 Tbsp of Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice. When it shimmers, add the fish fillets. Fry for about 4-6 minutes on one side, and just 3-4 on the other, but it all depends on the thickness of your fish. When the fish is just translucent, remove from the pan. Serve with the olive relish.

Inspired by a recipe by Sabrina Ghayour in her beautiful book, Persiana, Recipes from the Middle East and Beyond. Interlink Publishing Group, Inc., Northampton, MA..

Submitted by Barb L.