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+ servings
Avocado and Tomato Salad with Fresh Za'atar
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Resting time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins

A summery avocado and tomato salad sprinkled with lime juice and fresh za'atar. If you haven't made your own za'atar before, it's simpler than you think. 

Along with fresh thyme and oregano, you'll need sumac, a tangy red-hued spice that can be found in the spice aisle at most markets or at specialty stores. Bright and savory, sumac is an excellent addition to your spice rack. Before making your za'atar, make sure your herbs are completely dry. 

Lastly, the secret to avocados that don't brown is lots and lots of lime juice. Be sure to coat the avocados completely and they should stay vibrant.

Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tomato salad
Makes: 4 generous servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 2 medium cucumbers, cut into 1/16-inch thick slices with a mandoline or a knife
  • 1 medium shallot, cut into 1/8-inch thick slivers
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes), divided
  • sea salt
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup goat milk chèvre (*optional)
  1. To make the za'atar, toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. After about 4 minutes, seeds will become golden and fragrant. Remove seeds from skillet, toss with sea salt, and set aside to cool.

  2. When seeds are completely cool, fold in herbs and sumac. Add sea salt to taste. Za'atar will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 1 month.
  3. To assemble the salad, toss cucumbers and shallot with 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Arrange tomato slices on a large platter; sprinkle each tomato with a pinch of sea salt. Drain cukes and shallots, and tuck under and around tomatoes. Fan the avocados in segments and tuck throughout the salad. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice over salad, being sure to coat avocados completely. Next drizzle olive oil all over. Top off with several tablespoons fresh za'atar.

  5. Serve immediately alongside chèvre, if using.