"Bright and herbaceous," is the way I described shatta to my fiancé the first time I tried it. I made a big batch that we went through in less than a week, putting it on absolutely everything, from skirt steak (our favorite way to eat it) to rice, to using it as a dip for veggies.
The jalapeños and garlic give it a nice punch, while the slightest bit of cumin enhances all of the ingredients, melding them together perfectly. We still eat about a batch a week - it is a staple in our house now, and perfect for the hot summer and early fall months!
Shatta (Middle Eastern Hot Sauce)
Makes about 10 oz
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
2/3 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup raw walnuts or pumpkin seeds
4 medium cloves garlic
2 tsp. fine sea salt (scale back to 1 teaspoon if using regular table salt)
1 tsp. ground cumin
10 twists of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 cup sliced fresh jalapeño peppers (from 4 or 5 medium-sized peppers), sliced into 1″ chunks (Seed your jalapeños if you're sensitive to heat - this is spicy!)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, add everything but the olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until the ingredients are finely chopped (but not obliterated), pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary. Slowly, drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice through the top while your food processor is on. Blend until light green and creamy. If the sauce is outrageously spicy at first, give it a 30-minute rest or longer, as it will mellow out a bit. This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 1 to 2 weeks.
Skirt Steak with Shatta Sauce
1 lb. skirt steak
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
8 twists of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. sea salt
Combine olive oil, cumin, black pepper and sea salt, and rub evenly all over your skirt steak, at least 30 minutes before grilling (or up to 2 hours before). Turn your grill on high heat. Cook the steak over high heat for about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. When done (you can use a meat thermometer and check for an internal temperature of 135 degrees), pull off the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, slice thin (like you would slice a thin onion), going against the grain. Top with a generous dollop of shatta and serve alongside our watermelon summer salad. Enjoy!
Note: This recipe was originally published in our article in Edible Santa Barbara. Check out the whole article here!