When you're a child, snow days are a magical thing. But as an adult, they loose a lot of their allure. Snow days mean schlepping to work even if the skies just dumped 8 inches of snow.
Much of the joy I have for snow days stems from the tradition my mom started of making my siblings and I Parmesan popcorn (recipe form the Kids Cook Cookbook!) and hot chocolate when we came in from playing outside. This past weekend, while Tyler and I were taking Jackson to the park in the middle of a snowy Saturday afternoon, I got a sudden bout of nostalgia for such a treat. And so I did what I always do when that happens, I returned home and set about re-creating such food memories.
This is my ode to my childhood snow day treat. Freshly popped popcorn covered in a dusting of Parmesan and Zatar. Zatar, an incredible Middle Easter spice blend, provides just enough of a kick to the bowl of popcorn, managing to make the popcorn taste just a little more adultish while still fully embracing what I loved about it as a child (the cheesy bites). It's great snack food on snowy afternoons though I could also see myself serving it as an appetizer for a party (Superbowl anyone?).
Zatar and Parmesan Popcorn
Recipe adapted slightly from Serious Eats
I used the popcorn from the Whole Foods bulk bins though I am really keen to order some of this popcorn since I hear it's so great!
1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped (about 8 cups popped)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup store-bought za'atar spice blend
1/2 cup parmesan or Pecorino grated on a microplane
Place popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl and drizzle olive all over, tossing to coat evenly. Add za'atar and cheese, tossing to coat evenly. Season with salt and serve. Popcorn can be stored at room temperature in a zipper-lock bag overnight.