Recipe by Chef Cindy
Chimichurri Sauce is a traditional Argentinian sauce that is used to flavor meat and sausages. But for us plant-based peeps, Chimichurri Sauce tastes incredibly delicious on grilled vegetables! It is traditionally made with parsley, oregano, shallots, garlic, vinegar, oil, and salt & pepper. You simply blend them together to create this savory sauce that can spice up even the simplest of meals. Uruguay's version adds a kick with some crushed red pepper flakes!
How do you make Chimichurri Sauce?
As with most traditional recipes I work with, I like to change them up a bit to create a unique recipe twist or a simple adjustment for plant-based meals. There are 2 variations of the sauce - the Chimichurri Verde (Green) Or Chimichurri Rojo (Red) Sauce.
The Verde version has mostly fresh parsley for the green, but you can add in fresh cilantro (which I did), basil leaves, or a combo of all three. You can also add in fresh (or dried) oregano. The onion can be red, white, yellow or even shallots. And the vinegar can vary from white, red wine vinegar, or even a Spanish sherry vinegar.
To make the Rojo version, add paprika (hot), cumin (seed), cayenne, tomato (Roma), and red pepper.
With both versions, you can increase or decrease the amount of garlic you choose to use. If you are a garlic lover, here's your chance to go to town with it but be careful not to overpower it. You want the taste of the parsley and other herbs to come through.
What is the best way to store Chimichurri?
Once made, you can serve Chimichurri Sauce immediately or refrigerate it for future use. If it has been chilled, it is best to have it return to room temperature before serving. It can last 2 to 3 weeks refrigerated and actually deepens nicely in flavor as it ages.
If you decide to freeze it, you can put the chimichurri sauce in an ice cube tray and freeze it in individual cubes. Once frozen, the cubes can be stored in a freezer bag. You can also freeze the sauce in more giant freezer-safe containers to keep its flavor for about three months.
What are other uses for Chimichurri Sauce?
If you are like me though, I find other ways to use it over the course of the 2 weeks. It is a great addition to :
- grilled vegetables
- mixed with vegan mayonnaise
- roasted potatoes
- pasta salad
- a salad dressing
- fish, meat, poultry (non-vegans)
What is the origin of Chimichurri Sauce?
Chimichurri is pronounced chee-mee-CHOO-ree and has a few stories floating around about its origin. The most common source of the word honors its inventor, an Irish soldier named Jimmy McCurry. He was a freedom fighter from the nineteenth century. He traveled with indigenous troops to fight for the independence of Argentina. Because his name was difficult for Argentines to pronounce, “Jimmy McCurry” got turned into chimichurri. On the other hand, many linguists believe that the name chimichurri comes from the Basque country word tximitxurri, meaning “a mixture of several things in no particular order.”
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Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup firmly packed flat leaf parsley stems removed
- 3 - 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 large shallot
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ½ lemon juiced
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place parsley, garlic and shallot in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
- Scrape into a bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Serve at room temperature.
- Use a blend of parsley and cilantro for a different flavor.
- Grill the meat, fish or vegetable with the sauce (low to medium heat) or use as a topping after cooking.