We first had this sauce at a restaurant in downtown Tucson. We’d heard of it before, but really didn’t know what it was, so we figured, “why not?” and ordered it up to go along with a side of fries. As it turns out, we liked it, and discovered that it’s kind of like a salsa made from parsley (we didn’t know that at the time). While that first taste was good, we figured that we could probably scratch it up at home, too.
Somewhere along the line, we looked up a recipe and found that it’s made mainly from parsley, which, since we don’t buy parsley, nor had we every received parsley as part of our CSA share, we let the idea of making chimichurri sauce drop off our radar. Well, if you read Wednesday’s post, you saw that we got a bunch of parsley in our CSA share, and on the back of the newsletter was a recipe — we didn’t use that one as it called for a lot of olive oil — making chimichurri was finally a possibility.
The recipe that we based this on can be found here. You’ll note that mainly the proportions changed, not really the ingredients.
Obviously, the key to this is the fresh parsley — it’s the main ingredient. For the oregano, if you have fresh, by all means, use it; otherwise, use about a tablespoon of dried oregano. We knew our red pepper flakes were very hot, so we cut the amount used in half. Adjust as you see fit. In fact, adjust all the ingredient amounts as you see fit. And, yes, we think you should use extra-virgin olive oil, it’ll add a flavor component.
Procedure in detail:
Chop. Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil, into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse it a few times to start chopping up the garlic and parsley. With the vinegar in there, you might get a bit of spattering; we did.
Add oil. Turn the machine on, and, with it running, pour the olive oil into the feed tube. We didn’t really measure, we just poured until we had a salsa-like consistency. A bit liquid-y, but with pieces of parsley and the other ingredients. You don’t want a paste or purée.
Pack. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the chimichurri into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight, if possible, to let the flavors mellow and meld.
That’s it? That’s all there is to making chimichurri? Yep, it’s pretty easy; basically, collect your ingredients and whiz them up in a food processor. So, what does it taste like? Well, it’s a bit like a vinegary green salsa with a spicy bite to it. Use it for a dipping sauce (we plan to use it on oven- roasted sweet potato fries), where it’ll add a kick of flavor — it’ll even taste a bit fizzy on your tongue. Five!