Chimichurri is a robust Argentinian herbed sauce used on grilled meats, and also for dipping. It's similar to pesto in concept, but the flavor is completely different.
The basic idea is finely minced herbs, mostly parsley and oregano, sometimes thyme, basil or cilantro as well, blended with garlic, olive oil, and a bit of citrus. I managed to get some good tips from our nice waiter, like the fact that he prefers lime in his chimichurri, red pepper flakes gives it some heat, and cilantro is verboten.
I used my trusty small food processor, which was perfect for this job, but in fact, according to our waiter, the more authentic way to do this is by hand. When you do it in a processor the oil emulsifies slightly, giving it a paler color and thicker texture. Same flavor, though. The by hand method will produce a thinner sauce. So either way you want to do it is fine.
makes about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic (use one for a less pungent flavor)
1 tsp sea salt
1 shallot, rough chopped
- Drop the garlic, salt and shallot into a small food processor and process until finely minced. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary
2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 large lime (or 1 small)
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Put the rest of the ingredients in the processor and pulse/process until the herbs are finely minced. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
- Let the sauce rest in the refrigerator for an hour or two before using.
One simple sauce and the sky's the limit for how you can use it. I spooned ours over grilled steak, but it's good on chicken and fish, too. Toss it with baby potatoes before you roast them in the oven. Use it as a salad dressing, on tacos, or just dip your favorite bread right into it.
This tangy gutsy sauce is too easy not to try.
One year ago today---