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Crostini with Za’atar* Roasted Tomatoes and Labneh

This crostini recipe is from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms (Running Press 2015) by Maureen Abood. Find Lebanese ingredients at MaureenAboodMarket.com.

*Za’atar, a traditional Lebanese spice blend of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds is available at maureenaboodmarket.com.

Try more of Maureen’s recipes in the photo above!

Ingredients

  • 1 long, narrow baguette
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar*
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 cup labneh (Lebanese-style thickened yogurt) or substitute Greek yogurt

 Za’atar* Roasted Tomatoes

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 5 grinds)
  • 2 to 3 tablespons za’atar*, to taste

Preparation

Line a heavy sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice the tomatoes in half. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper and stir until they are well-coated. Place the tomatoes on the sheet pan cut-side up, and top each with a pinch of za’atar.

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Turn the oven on to 275° (no need to preheat when roasting like this), and roast the tomatoes for about 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes. The tomatoes are done when they are meltingly soft and slightly shriveled. They can be used warm or cooled to room temperature.

 Assembling the Crostini

Heat the oven to 350°. Thinly slice the baguette into ½-inch slices. Brush both sides of the bread slice with olive oil and season them lightly with za’atar, salt and pepper. Arrange the slices on a sheet pan and bake for about 10 minutes. Turning them over when the tops are light golden brown and continuing to bake until reverse sides are also golden.

Place a dollop of well-stirred labneh on heach crostini. Top the labneh with two or three roasted tomato halves, then dust everything with the za’ atar. Serve them immediately.