Drying fresh oregano (skip these steps if using dried oregano)
Rinse the fresh oregano stems, pat dry them, and then arrange them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or on the tray of a dehydrator.
When using the oven,bake at 165ºF/75ºC for about 1 hour in the center of the oven. Keep a close eye on the drying process so that the leaves don't burn (as the temperature is higher than a dehydrator). Check on the leaves in about 30-45 minutes. If they feel dry and crumble easily, they have been dried/dehydrated enough. If not, keep them in the oven longer, checking every 5-10 minutes.When using a dehydrator,dehydrate at 105º/40ºC for 1-4 hours (timing depends on the initial freshness of the leaves). Check them after 1.5 hours. If they feel dry and crumble easily, they've been dehydrated enough. If not, keep them longer, checking periodically. You could also dry them in a well-ventilated spot but this could take at least a few days, even weeks.
Once the oregano has dried out, leave it to cool down completely.
Grind it to a fine powder.
Mixing the za'atar spices
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan (don't add oil) over medium heat. Stir constantly so the seeds don't burn on one side. It's enough to toast them for about 4-5 minutes. Let the sesame seeds cool down before mixing the spice blend.
Next, mix all the herbs/spices. You can stir them in a bowl or directly in the jar you plan to store them in.
Cover the jar and store in your cupboard or another cool dry place. You can also keep it in the fridge. The Lebanese zaatar spice mix keeps for 6 months (or even longer).
Check the blog post for more tips and serving suggestions!