Is it possible for a sauce to be your spirit animal? Because this one is MINE. I first learned about the condiment in my Latin cuisine class in culinary school ten years ago (geez, how did that happen), and it still blows my mind how good it is every time I make it. It’s an herb-based, loose oil condiment originating from Uraguay and Argentina, usually spooned over grilled meats, especially steak. It is HEAVEN. Acidic, herby (can we make that a word?), slightly spicy, and PACKED with flavor. It’s just so deceptively simple.
The most obvious use for it is dressing up barbecued steaks, but lately I’ve been spooning it onto everything…chicken quinoa bowls, fish, nachos, eggs, you name it. I’m excited to see what you’ll do with it.
Most of the recipes on the internet call for cilantro, but the traditional recipe uses just flat-leaf parsley, and maybe some dried oregano. I think that’s what I love so much about this…don’t get me wrong, I have always had a love affair with cilantro, but sometimes you just need a break, and the parsley is just always the right amount of everything and doesn’t overpower the food.
Chimichurri purists will insist that the herbs and garlic should be meticulously chopped, but sometimes I just literally don’t have the time. So instead I take one short cut here (gasp) and buzz the parsley and garlic in a food processor first and then add the rest of the ingredients by hand in a bowl. I think the result is no less spectacular, and remember, done is better than perfect. :) I will say… I agree you shouldn’t blend or process ALL the ingredients together, as it creates a more homogenous puree that is a sad cousin to the silky, authentic stuff.
I hope your summer is off to a wonderful start, and I hope you will try chimichurri at least once this summer, and let me know what you think. :). Cheers!
Easy Chimichurri Sauce
Yields: about 1 1/2 cups
1 bunch flat leaf parsley (about two large handfuls...this will make about 1 cup chopped)
6 medium to large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Tear the entire leafy side of the parsley off the bottom stems (use your whole hand and just grab a handful and twist...the stalks near the leaves are ok). Place parsley and peeled garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor and process til finely chopped (can also just finely chop with a knife on a cutting board). Don’t over-process, or it will turn into a paste. Scrape out the parsley/garlic mixture into a bowl. Add the salt, red chili flakes, dried oregano, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Stir and let sit a couple hours before using. Can be kept in fridge for up to a week.
I keep this in the fridge for freshness, but it’s actually better at room temp, so pull it out of the fridge a little bit before you want to use it to let it warm up a little.
I love this sauce on steak, tacos, chicken, fish, even eggs! Lately I’ve been putting it on quinoa bowls with chicken and veggies and it’s heaven!
If you don’t have a food processor, just finely chop the parsley and garlic with a knife and cutting board.