CHIMICHURRI SAUCE by Foodie’s Chef Laura Brennan
June 19, 2020
A famous, uncooked green-herbal piquant sauce most-often served with grilled meats. It hails from South America (Argentina and Uruguay) and has many variations. All variations include parsley and oregano and beyond that the ingredients used are somewhat open to personal interpretation. I love the brightness of cilantro, so I always include it. Sometimes I substitute fresh mint for the oregano and I always use red wine vinegar.
But… what I never, ever do is make the sauce in the blender or food processor! Chopping the herbs by hand yields a thicker, greener, lush and in my opinion, better sauce.
- Prep: 30 mins
- Cook: 40 mins
- Yields: approximately 2 cups
1 standard bunch cilantro, washed and dried
1 standard bunch flat-leafed parsley, washed and dried
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
2 small cloves garlic, peeled & mashed to a paste (approximately 1 teaspoon)
1-2 tablespoons seeded & finely diced jalapeno pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Optional: 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
4-5 tablespoons red wine vinegar (amount will depend on the strength/acidity of your vinegar)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral vegetable oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt, (more or less to taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Remove the cilantro and parsley leaves from their stems. You should have about 4 ½ to 5 cups total of loosely-packed leaves. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the minced shallots, mashed garlic, diced jalapeno pepper, dried oregano with the red wine vinegar. Add a pinch of salt. Mix to combine. Set aside.
Use your best French knife and finely mince the parsley, cilantro and mint (if using). Do this in a couple of batches if you’d like. Add the chopped parsley, cilantro and mint (if using) to the reserved bowl of garlic, shallots and vinegar. Stir to combine. Combine the two oils together and slowly stir into the herbs/shallots, etc.
Now…to finish, you must taste it. Add a pinch more salt. I like a rather thick sauce, but you can drizzle in more oil, a tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce if you’d like.
I love this sauce on grilled meats. I have eaten it on pan-seared scallops and grilled chicken.
And last week, I had it slathered on fried tofu (very yummy).
The sauce will keep for 4-5 days or longer in the fridge. It may slowly lose its bright green color the longer it sits. And the extra virgin olive oil will solidify when chilled, so you will have to let it sit at room temperature for a bit when re-using the sauce.