Lettuce Skhug (Zhug)

By • March 31, 2017 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Skhug is a traditional condiment used in Israeli food—a staple that everyone from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv has in his or her fridge. Typically, it wouldn’t have lettuce in it. But once, when I tried to make it, I didn’t have a lot of cilantro on hand. I did have a lot of Little Gem lettuce, so I just substituted it in with some cilantro and romaine. I loved that the lettuce brought in texture and a little bitterness to the underlying spice. Whether you prefer it chunky or smooth, it is a great companion to falafel, shawarma, sabich, or any roasted meat, egg, or eggplant sandwich, especially when tucked in a pita. It is also delicious paired with soft scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Reprinted with permission from The Book of Greens (Ten Speed Press 2017).
Jenn Louis

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Makes 1 cup (85 grams)

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 head (3 ounces/85 grams) Little Gem or romaine lettuce, cored
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  1. Combine the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool. When cool, finely grind in a spice grinder or electric coffee grinder. Set aside.
  3. Combine the Little Gem in a blender along with the jalapeños, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Purée until smooth, then season with salt.
  4. Store, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

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Condiments|Vegetables