Chimichurri sauce is a glorious, garlicky herb sauce meant for slathering over grilled meats. It’s the Argentinian version of a pesto, and it’s fabulous! Use it with chicken, fish, tacos, and of course, steak.
chimichurri is a robust Argentinian herb sauce
A friend and I had a quick lunch the other day in an Argentinian restaurant. They served us a delicious bowl of garlicky chimichurri sauce with bread and it just so happens that this zesty sauce has been on my to do list for a long time. It’s usually used with grilled meats, but, as I found out, it’s also a perfect dip for crusty bread (or French fries!)
ingredients for my version of chimichurri sauce
The basic idea is finely minced herbs, mostly parsley and oregano, sometimes thyme, basil or cilantro as well, blended with garlic, olive oil, and a bit of citrus. My take on the sauce includes:
- fresh parsley
- fresh oregano
- fresh cilantro
- fresh basil
- olive oil
- sherry vinegar
- chili flakes
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
I use this sauce in my Chimichurri Shrimp
It can be a fabulous appetizer or a light meal. The brilliant green color draws the eye first, but the explosive flavor is what really makes this sauce a winner.
I slather it over steak
The sauce was intended for serving with red meat and there’s no better way to enjoy sliced steak than with a thick ribbon of chimichurri running down it. Yum.
the sky’s the limit for how you can use this Argentinian herb sauce
I spooned ours over grilled fajitas, but it’s good on chicken and fish, too. Use it as a salad dressing, on tacos, or just dip your favorite bread right into it. Spoon it on roasted veggies for an amazing kick of flavor.
I like to make chimichurri sauce in a food processor.
I like and use Cuisinart food processors, and they make affordable and sturdy machines in a variety of sizes. You can do a small batch like this in a mini processor, which makes it a quick and easy process. The more authentic way to do this is by hand, but that takes some time, and some serious knife skills. When you do it in a processor the oil emulsifies slightly, giving it a paler color and thicker texture. Same flavor, though. The by-hand method will produce a thinner sauce. Either way you want to do it is fine.
- 2 cloves garlic, use one for a less pungent flavor
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 shallot, rough chopped
- 1 cup parsley leaves, be sure to remove most of the stems and rinse well
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, must be fresh!
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for thinning if needed
- juice of 1/2 large lime, or 1 small
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Drop the garlic, salt and shallot into a small food processor and process until finely minced. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Put the rest of the ingredients in the processor and pulse/process until the herbs are finely minced. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
- Let the sauce rest in the refrigerator for an hour or two before using. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin it down with more olive oil.
- Make it spicier by adding a whole jalapeno. Go bolder by using a spicier Serrano pepper.
- Make it ahead – you can make this sauce up to a day or two ahead. It can also be frozen.
- Double the recipe for a larger batch.