The word Chimichurri sounds like an exotic dance ….. well, it is, on the tongue!
Chimichurri Sauce originates in Argentina where it is used as a marinade and also as a sauce on grilled meats, usually beef.
Traditionally it is parsley based, with additions of fresh garlic, oregano, cumin and vinegar.
I have used the basis of Chimichurri and the French Salsa Verde to make my own version of ‘green sauce’ version, which I must admit, changes every time I make it.
I use any suitable fresh herbs that I have in the garden or the fridge. I usually buy coriander in fairly large quantities as we cook so much Asian inspired food in our home. Occasionally it is a packet of slightly limp coriander that motivates me to make a batch. I add parsley (flat and/or curly leaf), basil and mint. If I want a more Asian feel I add Vietnamese mint.
I prefer not to use an electric blender or food processor to chop the herbs as I like a coarser texture and the herbs get too bruised. I use a large kitchen knife or a mezzaluna (curved knife) and a chopping board.
My additions to the herbs also vary, but my taste dictates that chillies are essential. Add as many as you like, just always check them for strength first.
Then I add garlic and lemon zest. If I am serving the sauce on fish, I may increase the lemon and sometimes add orange zest.
When I’m serving lamb I add more mint. I also add capers for lamb and fish.
Chimichurri is usually spooned over cooked food . It is delicious with roasts or on grilled meat, fish, poultry or burgers.
It can also be used as a marinade, just rub some onto the surface of the meat, fish or chicken about 1 hour before cooking.
I usually place bowls or jars of chimichurri on the table for guests to help themselves.
It should be a staple in your fridge!