By Nancy Olah
I discovered this weekend that making chimichurri sauce is even easier than making pesto.
This potent fresh green sauce from Argentina combines fresh basil, mint, flat leaf parsley, and cilantro with olive oil, lemon, and garlic and can be made in less than five minutes in a food processor.
Of course, my buddy, Jeremy Allen, from Spring Lake Family Farms made it super easy for me. It turned out that a lone container of the cleaned hydroponically grown herbs to make chimichurri was all that he had left to sell on Saturday by the time I got to the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market!
Since I’d always wanted to learn how to make Chimichurri, how could I resist? It seemed like fate!
Although Jeremy had a basic recipe available, I researched and tinkered around to create my own version of Chimichurri, substituting lemon for white wine vinegar and adding a lot more garlic. Other tweaks included omitting the cumin and red pepper, and adding Aleppo pepper and Alligator Pepper (Grains of Paradise), both of which are available from my new favorite spice purveyor, My Spice Sage.
I served my Chimichurri sauce with some pan sautéed Gardein Chick’n Scallopini topped with fresh chopped organic grape tomatoes and Marcus Samuelsson‘s delightful Zucchini Feta Fritters from his wonderful book, Marcus Off Duty – The Recipes I Cook at Home.
BTW, after trying dozens of chicken analogues, the Gardein Chick’n Scallopini are still my favorite – they not only taste great, but they are both vegan and gluten free, a rarity among many plant based proteins.
Don’t be put off by the idea that Chimichurri sauce is commonly used in Argentina as a condiment for beef. There are plenty of creative ways to use this fresh sauce in vegetarian and vegan cooking!
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed
- 3 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
- Zest from one organic lemon
- Zest and juice from ½ lime
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Alligator pepper (Grains of Paradise)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Put all the ingredients (except the olive oil) in the food processor.
- Pour in about half the olive oil and pulse a few times, scrapping down the sides of the food processor bowl.
- Drizzle in the rest of the olive oil as you continue pulsing and scrapping down the sides of the bowl, until your sauce is beautifully smooth, thick, and glistening green.
- You can store your sauce for up to two weeks in the fridge in a covered glass container - if it lasts that long!
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