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Aromatic, za'taar-rubbed cod rests on a bed of habenero chickpea purée, alongside lemony, grilled zucchini. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

For those in the know, aromatic za'atar seasoning is a pantry staple, one that takes everything from bread to vegetables and grilled steak to new heights. Here, it's rubbed on flaky cod fillets and served on a bed of spicy chickpea spread. If you want yours extra-hot, don't bother removing the habanero's seeds.

In the event that you don't live near a Middle Eastern market, don't fear! The spice blend can easily be purchased online. You can also make your own, though you'll need to procure sumac to get the job done.

About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.

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