Spicy & Tangy Goodness
The first time. I tasted the garlicky, spicy and tangy goodness of chimichurri sauce was in an Argentinian restaurant in Mexico. It was served alongside my order of flank steak and my wife’s order of prawns. The fresh, vibrant flavors are a perfect match for just about any kind of meat. It’s even great on veggies.
Chimichurri Verde sauce is an elemental staple in Argentinian, Peruvian and Uruguayan cuisines. The uncooked condiment is made from parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. (Chimichurri Rojo is a variation that includes tomato and red bell pepper.) The verde version is a cross between pesto and salsa.
Since South American cuisine is famous for beef, chimichurri is associated with grilled dishes such as skirt steak and tri-tip. But over the years, I’ve tried it on just about everything from pork chops to leg of lamb to asparagus to tofu. It’s unbelievably tasty on hamburgers. And scrambled eggs. I’ve also added it to sour cream and used it as a dip for crackers and chips. This versatile concoction also is an excellent marinade – especially for beef and lamb. It really is one of the most versatile condiments you can make.
Nobody really knows where the name chimichurri originated. According to legend, the name comes from Basque settlers who arrived in Argentina in the 19th century, Chimichurri comes from the Basque term tximitxurri, which loosely translates to as “a mixture of several things in no particular order.”
Chimichurri can be made year-round, but summer is the perfect season to keep it on hand in the fridge. (Store it in an airtight glass container and keep it in the refrigerator for up a month. Because it is an oil-based sauce, make sure to take it out of the fridge and let it hit room temperature before serving.)
All the fresh ingredients needed for this simple recipe are plentiful at farmers markets or grocery store. And you don’t need to use your stove or oven to make it.
Our chimichurri recipe takes only five minutes to make – if you have a food processor. But you can make the recipe the old-fashioned way using a knife and mortar and pestle. And if you want to punch up the spiciness factor, add a jalapeño. (I would suggest removing the seeds first unless you want it super hot.)
Once you have tried this recipe, you may never reach for A-1 steak sauce or barbecue sauce ever again!
Servings: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Special equipment: Food processor
- 2 cups fresh Italian parsley
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2T shallots, roughly chopped
- 2T red wine vinegar
- 2T lemon juice
- 2T fresh oregano, chopped(or 1T dried)
- 1⁄2tsp. pepper
- 1⁄2tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- 3⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Step 1: Place all ingredients except olive oil in the food processor and pulse two or three times.
Step 2: Slowly add olive oil. Start with just a half-cup, and then slowly add more and pulse a few more times. Don’t puree, just a few quick pulses. Add more olive oil until you get to your desired consistency.