The $3.79 Trader Joe's Find I Don't Leave the Store Without

It makes everything taste better.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

It happened by chance. I was at Trader Joe’s staring mindlessly at the dips and sauces in the refrigerated section when someone came up next to me, grabbed a container of green sauce, and said, “Have you tried this? It’s really good.” Then she left without waiting to hear my answer.

I picked up a container labeled "Zhoug Sauce," and the rest is history. Thanks to the random shopper’s recommendation (albeit odd) this sauce is now one of my favorites—it gave my cooking a serious boost and I can’t imagine life without it.

What Is Zhoug Sauce?

Zhoug is an herbaceous, garlicky, spice-infused sauce that hails from Yemen and is enjoyed across the Middle East. It’s made with finely chopped cilantro, parsley, and garlic and gets its heat from jalapeño peppers.

Spices such as cardamom and cumin provide a bit of warmth and boost the sauce’s heat and flavor. It’s often served with meat and vegetables as a condiment. It’s so versatile (you’ll see proof of that below) that you’ll want to use it in and on everything.

<p>Simply Recipes / Meg Scott</p>

Simply Recipes / Meg Scott

My Favorite Way To Use Trader Joe’s Zhoug

I love nothing more than a versatile sauce that can easily transition into a marinade or be mixed with other ingredients to create something new. Zhoug is one of those sauces. Recently, I had a bag of shrimp in my freezer that I wanted to use for dinner, but plain shrimp is boring. Luckily, I had a container of Trader Joe’s zhoug in the fridge.

I thawed the shrimp, added some of the sauce mixed with a few tablespoons of olive oil to loosen it, and marinated it while I got the grill ready. While the shrimp cooked, I made a quick sauce by mixing a bit of zhoug with Greek yogurt and fresh lemon juice. I served the grilled shrimp drizzled with my improvised sauce along with grilled vegetables and pita bread—it was so easy and delicious.

Other Ways To Use Zhoug

If you’re looking for ways to use your container of zhoug, I’ve got ideas!

  • Mix into cream cheese for a topping for bagels: Add one to two teaspoons of zhoug to a tablespoon or two of softened cream cheese and mix until combined. Spread over a toasted bagel for the ultimate upgraded cream cheese.

  • Mix with plain hummus for a dip for pita or veggies: Mix a few tablespoons of zhoug into a container of plain hummus. Drizzle a few teaspoons of zhoug over the top before serving for an herbaceous, spicy twist.

  • Drizzle on baked potatoes or toss with roasted potatoes: Slice open a baked potato and add a healthy tablespoon of zhoug. Smash it all together with a fork and add your favorite toppings. If you’re roasting potatoes, add two to three tablespoons of zhoug after cooking and toss to combine.

  • Mix with labneh for a spread for sandwiches/wraps: Labneh is a thick and creamy strained yogurt, and it’s awesome mixed with zhoug. Combine one tablespoon of each and spread over sandwiches or wraps.

  • Swap it for pizza sauce: Try something new on your pizza and use zhoug as the base instead of red sauce. Top the pizza with shredded mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and olives.

  • Drizzle on fried eggs: Zhoug plays extremely well with eggs. That means it’s perfect on your fried egg, but it’s also right at home in your breakfast burrito or omelet, or on top of a frittata.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.