One of the most delicious, versatile, pesto-like sauces you can make! Kids love it!



  1. Peel, crush and steep the garlic cloves in a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, vinegar or Verjus, to soften the bite of the garlic. Using a mortar and pestle is the easiest route.

  2. Wash and pick the cilantro while the garlic mellow.  Then place all ingredients --initially only ½ cup of oil-- in a blender and pulse into a paste, incorporating more oil to desired consistency.  It should be like pesto. That's it! 

​Keeps well in the fridge for a week or so--if it lasts that long--and gets better over time, really.


  • Use arugula or parsley instead of cilantro; substitute some of the House Blend with Lemon, Lime, or Basil oil, to add another layer of flavor, or use bolder Olio Nuovo, for more of a kick.
  • use ¼ cup hemp or chia seeds as a thickener.  Can also use walnuts or pine nuts.

Uses & Suggestions:

Traditionally used as a condiment with falafel, Zhug is excellent on the American equivalent, hamburgers, slathered on any grilled meats or vegetables, on roasted potatoes, in sandwiches, hummus, tacos, burritos, or as a garnish for soups.

Make the night before--it's more relaxing to pick the cilantro while you're watching a show or chatting after dinner-- then use it liberally all week.  Zhug is much better the next day and continues to develop complexity all week long.  Once you've made it a few times you can knock it out in no time, 15 minutes, and dress up any dish.  I've served it several nights in a row and everyone fights over it, as it tastes better each day.  Few have heard of it, but everyone will love it.


Coriander/Cilantro is considered both an herb and a spice, its leaves, Cilantro, being the herb, and its seeds, Coriander, being the spice. It's use can be traced back to 5,000 BC, making it one of the world's oldest spices, traditionally used in Greek and Roman cultures to preserves meats and flavor breads.  Zhug is a tasty way to incorporate this super-beneficial stress-relieving, salmonella-destroying anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, vitamin K rich, heavy metal cleansing phytonutrient-packed herb/spice into your diet.  What? Show me the science!

photo credit: erin scott.