Spicy & Versatile Condiment!
Like pesto, this light, fresh, but spicy sauce starts with herbs, nuts, and olive oil. Originating in Yemen and now served all over the Middle East. Here, Zhoug sauce makes a unique and easy addition to your weeknight meal planning.
A traditional Middle Eastern condiment, BE BRAVE and try this sauce spooned over grilled meats or roasted vegetables, or swirled into hummus or labneh, spooned over white fish, falafels or a veggie burger. Here, I decided to simply twirl in some hot pasta. You can add in a serving of vegetables by sautéing up some broccoli, shaved brussels sprouts and some chopped tomatoes and onions for color and crunch.
So, make a batch of this versatile condiment and add zing to your weeknight meals and pizzaz to your appetizer boards.
(* indicates my preferred ingredients – see notes for alternatives)
2 cups fresh cilantro, leaves and small stems only
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, leaves and small stems only
1-2 jalapeños, sliced (See Chef Note)
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon O&V Garden Herb vinegar or Marc de Champagne vinegar *
5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
½ cup Unflavored EVOO *
¼ cup roasted and salted pepitas or pistachios (divided)
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional and for additional heat)
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz O&V Spaghetti *
12 oz Brussel sprouts, shredded thin
4-6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of lemon and lemon wedges for garnish
Roasted and salted pepitas for garnish
Salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste
Make the Zhoug
Combine the jalapeños, garlic, parsley and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse until jalapeños and garlic are minced. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt, and red chili flakes (if using). Process until finely chopped
With the processor still running, add the EVOO slowly in a steady stream until well combined in the processor bowl. Add the pepitas and blend till almost smooth. Taste and adjust salt, and spice levels. You can also choose to add a little more vinegar for added acidity. Place in a glass storage container with a cap and refrigerate until ready to use (will keep in the fridge for 7-10 days or can be frozen for longer storage).
Make the Pasta
Bring water to a boil in a pot to cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain cooked pasta, reserving ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Return the pot to the stove over medium heat and add the Garlic EVOO. Add the garlic and the shredded Brussel sprouts and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally until the Brussels are bright green and softened. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chili flakes and toss well.
Add drained pasta to the pot, toss and reduce heat to low. Add 1 cup of prepared Zhoug sauce and stir in. Use some of the reserved pasta cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a nice saucy consistency. Adjust salt, pepper and level of heat (chili flakes) to taste.
Serve topped with lemon zest, pepitas and with a wedge of lemon.
Active time 30 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
Prepping jalapeños is where you make decisions about the level of heat you want in your dish. Removing the seeds and membranes will reduce the heat of the sauce, or you can keep both and even add some red chili flakes for even spicier zhoug! You can also choose to just use one jalapeño instead of two for an even milder version. Jalapeños vary greatly in their level of heat, so taste and adjust as you go.
* As with all fresh sauces, the quality of ingredients will determine the ultimate flavor of the sauce. Here a good medium to robust Unflavored EVOO and a crisp Marc de Champagne or herby Garden Herb vinegar make all the difference.
This hand-made Spaghetti is bronze die cut and has roughness that better holds onto the sauce, while the Garlic EVOO adds another layer of deliciousness to this pasta dish. Feel free to use a gluten-free pasta if you prefer.
All highlighted products are available at Oil & Vinegar stores.
Categories: Entrée, Condiment, Snacks & Sides, Vegetarian, Vegan, Marc de Champagne Vinegar, Garden Herb Vinegar, Garlic EVOO, Zhoug, Middle Eastern Sauce, Zhug, Spicy Sauce, Pasta, Spaghetti, Fresh, Herby, Healthy Condiment, Mezze Platter