Ingredients: Parsley, Garlic, Onion, Red Chiles, Black Pepper, Oregano, Cilantro, Sea Salt, Cumin
Chimichurri (also spelled chimmichurri) is the signature sauce of Argentina and is starting to become more popular in this country. Now leave it to us Americans to try to give it some sort of “other name” to describe it. I’ve seen it called everything from “Argentinean ketchup” to the “pesto of Argentina”. Other than the fact that it can be made in the blender like an Italian pesto it really is unique enough and flavorful enough to stand on its own.
In Argentina grilled meat from the asado (barbecue) is a staple, with steak and beef ribs the meats most frequently used. Grilled meats in Argentina are almost always served with a brightly colored sauce called chimichurri, a sauce of herbs, garlic and tangy vinegar. While Chimichurri is primarily used as a sauce for grilled or roasted meats it can also be used as a dipping sauce for empanadas, grilled chicken and even fish.
One you’ve tried it you’ll soon find yourself looking for all sorts of excuses to use it. Don’t be surprised to find yourself also adding it on burgers, chicken wings, eggs, pasta, pork chops, potatoes, grilled or roasted vegetables, rice and quinoa. We’ve even used it mixed into homemade vinaigrette.
As with many regional spice blends and sauces there are probably hundreds of variations of Chimichurri. This Chimichurri seasoning easily transforms into a rich, complex, no-cook sauce in just minutes. Chimichurri is typically made using parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar. Additional seasons may include basil, bay leaves, cilantro, cumin, lemon or paprika. There is also a red Chimichurri version that includes red bell pepper and tomato.
Combine ½ cup of our Chimichurri seasoning with ½ cup olive, ¼ cup of red or white vinegar, ¼ cup of water and a squeeze of fresh lemon. We like to blend this in our food processor. Taste and if it is too acidic add a little bit more olive oil.
Transfer this finished sauce into an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. We have found that letting it set for several days works even better. Remove from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This allows the olive oil to thin out. It’s not uncommon for the olive oil to separate a little bit so stir well before serving.
While this sauce starts out brightly green it is common for the color to fade a bit and become darker in color, but the flavor remains.
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