The Condiment Aisle: Chimichurri

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Chinichurri, that delicious, parsley-based condiment hailing from South America, is one of our favourite sauces. So flavourful and fresh, just a little of it enlivens everything from grilled beef to chicken, lamb, fish and vegetables. If you haven’t tried this simple, magical sauce, you’re missing out.

Chimichurri originated in Uruguay and Argentina and has spread north with the rest of South American cuisine, one of the reasons being it is so versatile and delicious that it goes with just about everything. The combination of bright fresh chopped parsley, the heat, depth and aroma of garlic and chilis and the tang of a little red vinegar do wonders for both timid and robust flavours. Traditionally associated with churrasco, it is now as at home on a filet of baked Icelandic cod as it is slathered on a grilled flank steak, and such an exciting change for those of us brought up on HP Sauce, ketchup and so many other all-too familiar condiments.

 

Churrasco with chimichurri

Churrasco with chimichurri

 

Another bonus is that chimichurri works just as well on vegetables as it does on meats. Try a little drizzled on your next roasted or baked potato, or rapini or even steamed green beans. It is certainly a refreshing change from bacon bits and sour cream or butter, and better for you to boot. Try adding a few teaspoons in your next taco or tortilla! Skip the relish on your next burger or hot dog and try a little chimichurri. You can also use it as a basting sauce while grilling, or drizzle it on while the grilled food is resting, or both.

 

Oven-roasted vegetables with chimichurri

Oven-roasted vegetables with chimichurri

 

Though there are commercial brands available, like most cooking, it’s hard to beat the freshness of homemade. Plus it’s so incredibly easy to make, requiring no cooking, or food processor, or exotic, hard to find ingredients. However, the one ingredient you must not skimp on is a good olive oil; this is an oil -based sauce so this would be a good dish to use that special Spanish evoo or DOP olive oil that you’ve been squirrelling away.

Whether you want to crank up the heat by adding a little more chilis and garlic, or like to walk on the mild side, you simply have to have a go at this lovely sauce, it is bound to become a favourite!

 Chimichurri

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegr

½ cup chopped parsley

3 cloves garlic

1 red chili

½ teaspoon dried oregano

kosher salt, and fresh-cracked pepper to taste

Place the olive oil and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Chop the parsley fine and add it to the bowl. Chop the garlic and chilli together and add. Stir in the oregano, salt and pepper. Give it a good mix and let it sit in the fridge for a bit so all the flavours mingle. Can be kept in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for a week.

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