Garlic infused Medjool Date Creamy Brie with Zaatar Crusted Crostini

Ok I am obsessed with cheese.  Like Cheese > Chocolate any day of the week.  I don't even discriminate, I am equally obsessed; Brie, Blue, Chedder, Halloumi, Havarti, Nabulsi, Gouda, the list goes on.   This super super super easy and amazingly tasting appetizer is so perfect for entertaining.  It literally takes almost zero effort but looks impressive and taste amazing.

So Brie is not a commonly consumed cheese in the Middle East so for this interpretation of the dish I made it a bridge between modern and middle eastern ingredients.  During the holidays cheese related appetizers float all over the internet but I was inspired to make this from a post Gaby did on her site Whats Gaby Cooking.  

I first made slight incisions on top of the brie and inserted thinly sliced garlic into the incisions.  This will give a nice slight garlic taste in the cheese which taste oh my God so friggin amazing.  Okay moving on.

In order to make a perfect cut splitting the Brie into two I use this little trick that makes a very clean cut through this otherwise creamy and sticky cheese.  

I first make a slight incision all along the outside of the Brie and then I use dental floss and wrap it around and inside the incision and just pull through, and thats it. Once I have the two pieces I bottom side with chopped up Medjool Date but feel free to use any kind of jam or fruit.  I then put the two halves together and this is very important, put it BACK into the little wooden case it came in.  I tried making this once with the cheese NOT in the case because I was so paranoid about it catching fire in the oven and naturally the cheese melted and looked like a big blob.  If you want it to look presentable and in tact it must be in the oven in the wood case.  

Feel free to top it with any other fruit or jam

Feel free to top it with any other fruit or jam

In order to make the crostinis I used fresh sourdough baguette from the local bakery.  Make sure to cut them into thin slices and top with olive oil and zaatar and bake in the oven.  It's literally as easy as that! 

Dip the crunchy crostini right into the brie and ENJOY! It's so good I literally can't even take it.  

Zaatar Crusted Shrimp with Lemon Tahini Drizzle

You have no idea the high that I get after my husband gives me the thumbs up after trying something that I "created" in the kitchen!  This was one of those highs.   

So what ha happened was, I met up with a friend, a fellow mom foodie that thinks about food just as much if not more than I do to talk about work, seriously.  We spent about 2 hours talking about the kids and food, just kidding it was pretty much all food and sweet pillar, work, you know.  Zaatar came up in the conversation.  That was that.  

I came home, saw the shrimp I got for a lemon shrimp pasta dish I was planning on making.  Lightbulb.  Zaatar from my subconscious jumped out, the shrimp was right in front of my face, boom bam, next thing I know I'm creating Zaatar crusted shrimp with lemon tahini drizzle.

I thought it tasted great and I love that it was so different.  My mom and grandmother, both the best chefs I've ever known literally make so much food on a daily basis for the family, the kids, and non stop guests it's as if they were running catering businesses.  My mom makes and experiments with food all the time and cooks every cuisine under the sun, but when it comes to Arabic food she is NOT comfortable experimenting.  If I ever consulted with her about making zaatar crusted shrimp she would have freaked out, gave me a look of confusion, and would've just said in arabic "we just don't do that.  we don't eat zaatar and shrimp.  It's just not done."  There is one way to eat zaatar and its taking pita bread, dipping it in a bowl of olive oil then a bowl of zaatar and then sipping tea.  I'll update this post and tell you her reaction once I show her the pictures and tell her what I did.  Insert emoticon of monkey covering his face here.  haha. 


So this is actually pretty easy to make.  The lemon tahini sauce is used for multiple dishes so it's definitely a recipe to hold on to and know how to access later.  Ayla eats this sauce with just pita bread, she loves it so much.  I made the shrimp the same way I would if I was making buffalo shrimp or coconut crusted shrimp and then I just drizzled the zaatar marinade at the end.  The challenge is making the zaatar wet enough to stick on to the shrimp.


  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt


  • whisk all ingredients together
  • As simple as that


  • If it is too pasty, add more water until desired consistency is achieved
  • If you don't taste the lemon burst of flavor, add more
  • I tend to use a lot of garlic, so feel free to add more or less depending on how you like it


  • Egg
  • Flour
  • 8 Raw Shrimp, deveined
  • 1/4 cup Zaatar
  • 2 Tbl Olive oil
  • Frying oil (I used vegetable)


  • Create an assembly line by whisking egg and a little bit of water in one bowl, flour in the second bowl and shrimp in a third.
  • Start by dipping the shrimp in the egg mixture then the flour
  • Refrigerate while creating the zaatar mix and heating the frying oil
  • Once the oil has heated, fry the shrimp for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil
  • Mix zaatar and olive oil 
  • Drizzle on shrimp
  • Done and Done!