One of my favorite quick-service restaurants here in Missoula makes a killer chimichurri. They use it as a condiment on top of their Brazilian-inspired rice and salad bowls. In my everyday cooking, I tend to follow a simple formula: cook lots of vegetables, a little protein (fish, eggs are most common), and occasionally some type of grain, then top with a sauce. Since I love the chimichurri at the local restaurant so much, I decided to take a stab at this traditional South and Central American staple.
After reading about the origins and use of chimichurri, I realize that this sauce is not unlike my approach to cooking — a mixture of several things (often) in no particular order. Traditionally, chimichurri is a mixture of parsley, garlic, oregano, oil, and vinegar with optional additional ingredients like red pepper flakes, cilantro, tomato, or sweet red pepper. I wanted to keep this version authentic, but with some heat, hence the red pepper flakes. Don’t worry, it’s not too spicy, but it will kick your meat, fish, vegetables, and grains up a notch both in heat and in flavor! Use this sauce as a meat marinade or as a condiment to top cooked proteins, veggies, and starches. I recently served it on top of broiled salmon, cauliflower coconut rice, sautéed kale, and roasted sweet potatoes. I’ll make a large batch of it and then freeze the remainder in an ice cube tray. Then I thaw a few cubes to supplement a quick weeknight meal.
- 1 bunch parsley
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 8 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp each: salt, ground pepper, oregano, onion powder
- 1 tsp red pepper
- Coarse chop parsley leaves and supple stems (discard woody stems) and place into blender.
- Mince garlic.
- Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until the sauce is a smooth consistency.
*Not all calories are equal.