What is it?
Chimichurri is a fresh, uncooked, herbal sauce from Argentina. Fresh parsley and fresh oregano make up the bulk of the sauce, though fresh chili or pepper flakes and raw garlic add heat and pungency. The herbs and garlic are finely minced, then mixed with olive oil and red wine vinegar. The vinegar helps to temper the harshness of the garlic and add brightness to this fresh sauce. You can make your chimichurri as spicy as you like by upping the chili or pepper flakes, though chimichurri is not usually a very spicy sauce.
How is it used?
The sauce is traditionally served at room temperature with grilled meats or fish. It also works well as a marinade for meat and is excellent served liberally over roasted or grilled vegetables. You can also use it like a condiment and add it to hot dogs or mix it into mayonnaise to spread on burger buns for grilled burgers or use it in sandwiches in the place of pesto. There are many opportunities to add chimichurri to your meal.
Is it hard to make?
Not at all, and it’s even easier if you have a food processor. The recipe below calls for the herbs and garlic to be minced with a chef knife, but if you have a food processor this sauce comes together in minutes. Simply add all of the ingredients and pulse until finely chopped. Even when hand chopping it only takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare a chimichurri sauce.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt and pepper
Mince the garlic into a paste. Hit each clove with the flat of a kitchen knife to release the skins. Roughly chop the garlic using a rocking motion, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Continue rocking until finely minced. Finally, drag the blade of the knife backwards against the cutting board to press the garlic into a paste. Add to a medium bowl with the red wine vinegar.
Rinse the parsley and oregano well to remove any grit. Roll the herbs into a tight bundle and then finely chop them. Continue to chop with a rocking motion until the herbs are finely minced.
Add the herbs to the bowl with the garlic and vinegar. Stir in the olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, red pepper flakes, and vinegar–oil ratio to taste.