Chimichurri Recipe

My recipe for chimichurri, the Argentinian parsley sauce that works so well with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes. Later this week, I'll share a simple recipe to use chimichurri for a special (dare I say "romantic"? after all, Valentine's Day is upon us!) weeknight-easy meal, Seared Scallops with Chimichurri & Garlicky Polenta.

How to make Chimichurri ♥ KitchenParade.com, the Argentinian parsley sauce that's great with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes.

Real Food, Fresh & Fast, Perfect for Drizzling on Grilled Meat. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Great for Meal Prep. Easy DIY. Low Carb. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

What Is Chimichurri?

Food lovers, say hello to chimichurri [pronounced chim-ee-CHOOR-ee], the parsley and garlic sauce from Argentina. It’s a must for grilling meat, especially if hosting an asado, a festival of grilled meat.

But it’s useful otherwise, too. If your soup is a little bland, top with chimichurri. Use it instead of ketchup or mustard in a sandwich. Top a pile of mashed potatoes with a spoonful. Spoon a little into an omelet. Spread a little ricotta or fresh mozzarella or burrata on good toast, drizzle with a dab or two of chimichurri. Dip just-cooked sweet corn in chimichurri.

Once you have chimichurri on hand, it’s easy to reach for again and again.

And don’t worry, in the next couple of weeks, I’ll share two favorite recipes that expressly use chimichurri.

Parsley Tips & Recipes ♥ KitchenParade.com.

What's In Chimichurri? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.


Chimichurri has three signature ingredients, parsley, olive oil and garlic.

  • Parsley You'll need a large amount of parsley, the fresher the better. I always use Italian parsley, that's the parsley with the flat leaves. It's very common in big bunches in grocery stores.
  • Olive Oil Use good olive, that means olive oli that's fresh. To tell, give it a sniff, if it doesn't smells good or has any "off" scent, use another oil that is fresh. Some olive oils are quite expensive but in my book, freshness counts more than price-indicated quality. But if you have a favorite olive oil that just tastes good to you, so long as it's fresh, go for it!
  • Garlic Fresh cloves, please, not from a jar. Chop it until super-fine in a mini food processor. It helps to chop garlic and salt together, less (usually no) scraping!
  • Vinegar I use red wine vinegar, it's slightly more delicate than, say, white vinegar. Other vinegars can work, think white wine vinegar, malt vinegar, champagne vinegar, sherry vinegar would be especially good, I think.
  • Flavorings Now it's time to add nuance to the strong parsley, oil, garlic and vinegar flavors. My recipe uses oregano, freshly ground black pepper and for a tiny touch of heat, red pepper flakes. Salt is also important here!

Curly Parsley vs Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley: Which One to Choose

Curly parsley is so passé, yes? Its hardy tendrils have a 1970s feel, forever deigned to adorn a plain plate.

We cooks have been taught that the more perishable flat-leaf parsley (also called "Italian parsley" is fresher-brighter-better. Me too. Chances are, somewhere in these Kitchen Parade pixels, I’ve passed along what I’d been told: flat-leaf Italian parsley is the choice for in-the-know cooks.

Awhile back, Mark Bittman, author of the Minimalist column for the New York Times, played one parsley versus the other and discovered that contrary to common wisdom, freshness trumps variety.

I haven’t tried chimichurri with curly parsley but bet it would be just fine.

Luckily, both varieties are easy to grow in pots at home, keeping you in fresh parsley all summer long. Want more info about growing fresh herbs at home? Stick a trowel into Never Buy Fresh Herbs Again.

Never Buy Fresh Herbs Again, another budget challenge ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. How to grow a few favorite fresh herbs at home, the pots, the soil, the planting, everything you need to know.

How to Keep Parsley Fresh: A Parsley Bouquet!

To keep parsley fresh for a couple of weeks, rinse it well and snip the bottoms of the stems, taking off anywhere from a quarter inch to an inch. Then stick the whole bunch, freshly cut stems down, into a tall glass with about an inch of water and store in the refrigerator.

If needed, freshen the water every couple of days. The glass supports the stems, the water keeps the parsley hydrated.

It works!

How to make Chimichurri ♥ KitchenParade.com, the Argentinian parsley sauce that's great with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes.

Ready to Explore Argentinian Cuisine?

For starters, get to know Francis Mallmann, the Argentinian chef you may have seen on the Netflix show called Chef's Table.

I once spent a day with Peter Kaminsky, writer, fly fisherman and all-around fascinating guy. He was just back from some weeks in Argentina cooking with Mallmann over open fire. Two years later, that experience was codified in Seven Fires, Mallmann's 2009 cookbook.

It's a long story I won't recount here (though there's a short version here with my recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix) but Seven Fires is to blame for the reason why my now-husband and I cooked whole bison – yes, you read that right, whole bison – three years in a row.

Seven Fires is for meat lovers, undoubtedly. But we also find ourselves inspired by Mallmann's techniques for cooking vegetables, notably Fire-Charred Tomatoes.


How to make Chimichurri ♥ KitchenParade.com, the Argentinian parsley sauce that's great with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes.



MY CHIMICHURRI RECIPE

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 1 - 24 hours
Makes 3/4 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (about 45g) packed fresh parsley, mostly leaves, washed well and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup (84g) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a small food processor (see TIPS), chop the garlic and salt to form small pieces but don’t mash or let become mushy. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add the parsley to the food processor, in batches if needed, and chop until small but distinct pieces, not a paste. Transfer to the mixing bowl.

Stir the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl. Transfer to a container (see TIPS).

Before serving, let rest at room temperature for at least an hour or refrigerate for 24 hours. Return to room temperature before serving, stir to re-mix the ingredients.

ALANNA’s TIPS This small volume of garlic and parsley doesn’t chop well in a large food processor. But if you don’t have a small one, just finely chop the garlic and parsley with a knife. (You know, by hand, how quaint!) But don’t be tempted to just add the oil and other ingredients to the food processor and whiz away. Texture is important to chimichurri, you want to be able to see and feel the individual components. Homegrown parsley seems to have stronger flavors and is more stem-y than store-bought. For a recent batch that was very, very good, I used only 25g of leaves only, even though it was tedious to pull of only leaves. In that same batch, the olive oil measured out at 107g not 84g. I can't explain the difference, just want to make note for myself and others. For the moment, I recommend measuring by volume instead of weight. A glass jar won’t stain or hold garlic smell like a plastic one will. Much to my surprise, chimichurri keeps. I made a huge batch (eight batches!) in December for our buffalo roast and six weeks later, a couple of cups of leftovers are still good. I think it’s because when cold, the oil forms a seal on top.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Tablespoon: 64 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 99mg Sodium; 0g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 2 & myWW green 2 & blue 2 & purple 2

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. I first discovered chimichurri sauce last winter on a trip to the Dominican Republic, and became OBSESSED with it! I've been making it on a regular basis since coming home. It's fantastic with steak and my favourite is with a fried egg on toast.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna