Chimichurri

In the same way every country has its own version of stew, most countries have their own version of pesto, using the flavours and ingredients readily available to their region.  Chimichurri is the South American version of pesto, although it is predominantly associated with Argentina. Rather than being used as a pasta sauce, though, it is used as a baste for grilled meats and vegetables, and as a condiment to accompany the meal.  It’s verdant and garlicky, with a hint of heat (or a slap of heat if you’re so inclined). It goes well on chicken, beef, and pork, but lends its own flavour to each dish, rather than making everything taste the same.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

¼ tsp cumin

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp black pepper

Pinch of salt

½ cup cilantro (leaves and stems ok)

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only

 

Preparation

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Consistency will be like a thick paste.
  2. Keeps in a jar in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

 

Tips

  • The recipe calls for red wine vinegar, but you can really use almost any vinegar you have on hand.  I do not recommend balsamic vinegar, however, because it has such a strong flavour on it’s own.
  • If everyone you’re feeding like spicier food, kick the red pepper flake content up to ½ tsp, or even 1 whole tsp.  I wouldn’t recommend more than that, though because it limits your audience. If you want your meat really spicy, go to the international aisle in your supermarket and buy some piripiri sauce.  Baste your meat with a base layer of piripiri and then layer the chimichurri on top of it.
  • Always keep some of your Chimichurri aside to use as a condiment on your table for extra saucy flavour.
  • Cilantro stems are fine to use in our recipes.  They are tender and add an extra punch of cilantro flavour.  On the other hand parsley stems are fibrous and barky, and will add an unpleasant texture to your dishes.  Take the time necessary to pick the leaves off. If you have young children this task is actually a great way to get them involved in the cooking process.

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