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Ancient Emmer Pita Chips with Za’atar

Homemade means homemade.

32 chips


At least 4 hours to steep the garlic oil, about 10 minutes to make the za’atar, and about 25 minutes to bake the pita chips


It makes us smile when we read recipes describing how delicious homemade pita chips are. What they invariably mean is delicious compared to opening a bag! But these recipes themselves start by opening a package of store-bought pita. It’s kind of like comparing a plate of corn chips baked with chili and cheese and to real tamales steamed in corn husks. We’re not saying to bake our pita bread so you can make pita chips. We’re saying if you already baked our pita bread and happen to have some leftover, make chips!

These are super good, carrying the flavor of Ancient Emmer Semolina to crispy, spicy chips. The spice comes from za’atar, a Middle Eastern sprinkle of herbs and broken sesame seeds with a haunting, delicate flavor. We thought it only proper to provide a homemade za’atar recipe to charge up these homemade chips. If you desire an accompaniment to homemade pita chips, look no further than Baba Ghanoush.

equipment mise en place

For the garlic oil, you will need a small bowl and a fine-mesh strainer.

For the za’atar, you will need a small skillet, a spice grinder or electric coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, and a small bowl.

For the pita chips, you will need a baking sheet, parchment paper, and a pastry brush.

  • for the garlic oil:

    • ¼
      cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3
      garlic cloves, sliced
  • for the za’atar:

    • 2
      tablespoons Anson Mills Sea Island Benne Seeds or sesame seeds
    • ½
      teaspoon cumin seed (optional)
    • 2
      tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
    • 2
      teaspoons ground sumac
    • ½
      teaspoon dried marjoram
    • ½
      teaspoon flaky sea salt
    • ¼
      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • for the pita chips:


    Make the garlic oil: Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the sliced garlic. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or for up to 12 hours, to allow the flavors to infuse. About 1 hour before you make the pita chips, remove the oil from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the oil; discard the garlic.


    Make the za’atar: In a small skillet, toast the sesame seeds and cumin seeds (if using) over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and a shade darker in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Put the toasted seeds and dried majoram in a spice grinder or electric coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices and pulse 3 or 4 times, just until the sesame seeds are broken apart. Transfer to a small bowl and add the thyme, sumac, salt, and pepper. Stir until evenly combined and set aside. 


    Make the pita chips: Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


    Brush the pita rounds on both sides with the garlic oil, and then cut each round into 8 equal triangles. Line up the pieces on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the chips are crisp and the edges are browned, about 20 minutes. While the chips are hot, lightly sprinkle the tops with with about 2 tablespoons of za’atar. Let cool completely and serve.