Who doesn’t love to pull apart a cheesy grilled cheese sandwich crafted with crusty bread? If you add Zhoug, it’ll bring your sandwich up another notch on the “yum” scale! 

But what’s Zhoug? This is a spicy herb sauce of Yemenite origin that you’d find in Syria and Israel. It’s often the go-to condiment for falafel and is eaten with bread.  The flavors in a Zhoug are numerous—you have Hungarian peppers, parsley, coriander, garlic, and cumin, along with olive oil and sherry vinegar. 

I think it’s TERRIFIC when you substitute the cilantro in the traditional recipe with a kelp or kelp puree (one of my must-have Sea Pantry ingredients)! 

What I especially love about kelp (a type of seaweed) though is that it’s a nutritional powerhouse—a super vitamin from the sea—that also contributes to the health of our oceans. Seaweed helps filter the water and contributes to healthy ocean ecosystems where other aquatic plants and animals can thrive. 

You’ll definitely find yourself putting it into scrambled eggs, spreading it on a grilled cheese sandwich like this one, mixing it with Greek yogurt to make a dip, or just eating it by the spoonful! 

Serves 6

For the Sauce:

  • 2 Hungarian wax peppers, stemmed and coarsely chopped 
  • 1 cup kelp puree such as Oceans Balance Kelp Puree or Blue Evolution. If using frozen or fresh kelp, you will need 3 cups of kelp leaves and stalk.
  • 1 ½ cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (from one bunch)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sherry vinegar

For the Sandwich:

  • 2 slabs of flat bread, or ciabatta, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cups fromage blanc
  • 4 cups Monterey jack, white cheddar, or mozzarella
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Salt to taste

For the Sauce: 

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. You should have a bright green emulsified sauce. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

For the Sandwiches:

Place the bread on a board, cut side up. Spread a small amount of the Zhoug onto the top portion of the bread. Spread the fromage blanc on the bottom slice. Add the cheese evenly onto the bottom slice. Cover with the top of the bread. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of salted butter in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Press the sandwich slightly and place it in the skillet. Cook until golden on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, adding more butter to the pan if needed, and cook until the other side is golden and the cheese melts, 3 to 5 more minutes.

Serve with additional Zhoug on the side for dipping.

Looking for another fun use for your Kelp Puree? Try this Blue Foods Bowl with Crab Cakes, Brown Rice, Whole Kelp, and Kelp Puree!