Garlic Zaatar Popcorn

Garlic, Za’atar and Olive Oil Stovetop Popcorn

Published On 10 December, 2012 | Dessert, Kosher, Kosher Connection

A few weeks ago I spoke with a journalist with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency who was exploring a healthier approach to chanukah.  I have since been quoted in a number of media outlets including The Times of Israel, The Jewish Week and our local Kansas City Jewish Chronicle saying  “People have a misconception of the tradition to fry on Hanukkah … The concept is to remember the oil [that burned in the temple for eight nights], but that doesn’t necessarily mean frying. We’ve gotten so wrapped up with frying [that the essence of the tradition is lost], but there are ways to make Hanukkah food … using olive oil.”  

Don’t get me wrong, I love the latkes and donuts as much as the next guy but other than how delicious it is to fry everything in sight, I have to ask why tradition has come to lead us down the path of junk food for eight crazy nights.  Olive oil is the celebrated ingredient of this holiday, and I’m pretty sure most people aren’t frying their donuts or latkes in olive oil.

While latkes are not going to be absent from my diet this week, they are not going to take center stage.  I want to highlight olive oil as the essence of all our holiday treats.  Good olive oil is like a fine wine with flavor varying with each year and region.  Rather than turning to freshly baked breads with vinegar, popcorn makes an excellent vehicle to experience that decadent olive oil flavor.  This garlic, za’atar and olive oil stovetop popcorn makes an excellent alternative to chanukah fried foods without forgoing tradition and also makes a quick, affordable and easy treat for any movie night, family game night or chanukkah party.

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn

I learned a lot from Cookie and Kate‘s post about how to make stovetop popcorn and the chili and chocolate popcorn recipe is also one of my go-to popcorn flavors.  You will need the following ingredients to make stovetop popcorn.

  • 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite olive oil (coconut oil makes an excellent substitute, but that’s not in the chanukkah spirit!)
  • 1 cup of corn kernels – I like to use the tri-colored popcorn photographed but single color corn kernels are just fine too
  • Zaatar
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Kosher Salt

Drizzle the olive oil in a medium to large sized pan.  Turn the heat to medium and put three or four kernels of un-popped corn in.  Cover.  Wait until you hear or see that the kernels have popped then gently pour the rest of the kernels into the pot, making sure there is only a single layer of corn kernels lining the bottom.

Cover, hold on to the lid, and shake the pot.

Continue to cook on a medium heat, shaking every minute or so to make sure none of the corn burns.  After about five minutes, the corn popping will slow.  Once there are two to three seconds between each pop, remove the pot from the heat source.  The corn can burn easily so move the pot to a surface that is not emitting heat.  Your stovetop will remain warm even if the heat is off – especially if you’re cooking on an electric range.

Remove the lid immediately and sprinkle equal amounts of garlic and zaatar into the pot.  Add salt to taste, drizzle with olive oil for that extra “EVOO” flavor and serve right away.

Wait… there’s more to this post…

Garlic Zaatar Popcorn

Hannukah Blog Party Giveaway

This post is part of the 2012 Hanukkah Blog Party, organized by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. If you arrived from another blog expecting my “latkes and brisket on rye”, I apologize for the last minute change in my entry.  A true foodie sometimes has to adapt when things don’t go their way in the kitchen and this post is my plan B!

Hanukkah Blog Party Logo

All the participating bloggers have shared a Hanukkah themed recipes that in each and every way, is their unique expression of this holiday.  Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats and to learn how you can win one of six prizes.

Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win! Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite popcorn seasoning is to enter this giveaway.

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:


Donuts and Desserts:

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:

Don’t forget, to enter this giveaway you must Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite popcorn seasoning is.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Like this Article? Share it!