Chimichurri sauce, a delicious green sauce hailing from Argentina and Uruguay, has become increasingly popular across the globe for its vibrant flavor, versatility, and simplicity. Often used as a condiment or marinade, this delightful sauce can elevate any dish you add it to, whether grilled meats, vegetables, or even used as a dip for bread. With this easy chimichurri recipe, you too can experience the taste of South America in your home kitchen.
Made primarily from fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, and oil, chimichurri sauce is as delicious as it is straightforward. The authentic recipe calls for parsley, and sometimes cilantro, giving the sauce its recognizable green hue, while a touch of spiciness is added with red pepper flakes. These flavors are perfectly balanced by the acidity of vinegar and the rich taste of olive oil.
As you embark on creating your own chimichurri sauce, remember that the key to a delicious result lies in fresh ingredients and attention to detail. Don’t be afraid to adjust the recipe to your taste, and most importantly, enjoy the process of making this flavorful and versatile condiment.
Ingredients and Preparation
To prepare a delicious Chimichurri sauce, you should gather the following ingredients:
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Start by combining the fresh parsley and minced garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse briefly until the ingredients are evenly chopped. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to the mixture, blending until you reach your desired consistency.
It’s important to remember that Chimichurri sauce should have a slightly coarse texture, so avoid over-blending. Once you’re happy with the result, transfer the sauce to an airtight container and let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and intensify.
Chimichurri sauce is incredibly versatile, and there are several variations you can do by changing or switching some of the ingredients mentioned above. Here are a few options:
- Herbs: Swap out cilantro for parsley, or make a mix of the two. Feel free to also experiment with using fresh oregano, basil, or mint.
- Aromatics: Replace the garlic with minced shallots or scallions.
- Oil: If you prefer a milder flavor, use a neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil instead of olive oil.
- Acidity: Substitute red wine vinegar with white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice for a slightly different tang.
- Heat: Adjust the heat to your preference by using more or less red pepper flakes. You can also try using fresh chili peppers or hot sauce for a spicier kick.
- Add-ins: For a creamier Chimichurri, mix in some Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, or softened tofu.
Remember that the key to making a delicious and authentic Chimichurri sauce is to use fresh ingredients and a trusted recipe. With the right balance of flavors, you’ll be able to create a sauce that elevates any dish it accompanies.
Usage and Nutritional Details
Chimichurri sauce is a versatile condiment that can elevate the flavors of a variety of dishes. It pairs especially well with grilled meats like steak, chicken, and even fish. You can also use Chimichurri as a marinade to tenderize and flavor your meats before grilling.
- Grilled Steak: Brush chimichurri sauce onto your steak while it’s on the grill, or serve it on the side as a dip.
- Grilled Chicken: Add a dollop of chimichurri sauce to your grilled chicken for a burst of fresh flavor.
- Vegetables: Toss some fresh or grilled vegetables with chimichurri sauce for a delicious side dish.
- Beans: Add chimichurri sauce to your beans for an extra kick of flavor.
- Sandwich: Use chimichurri as a spread to elevate your sandwich game.
Storage and Shelf Life
To store your chimichurri sauce, refrigerate it in an airtight container to keep it fresh. The sauce will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator. If you want to store it for an extended period, you can freeze it in smaller portions, like an ice cube tray, and thaw them as needed.
Chimichurri sauce is a healthier choice compared to many other sauces due to its fresh ingredients. Here is a brief overview of the nutritional information, based on a serving size of 2 tablespoons:
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Please note that this nutritional analysis is based on the ESHA Research Database and may differ depending on the specific recipe you are using. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main ingredients in a traditional chimichurri sauce?
A traditional chimichurri sauce typically consists of parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Additionally, you may find ingredients like oregano, salt, and black pepper to season the sauce to your taste.
How does Jamie Oliver’s chimichurri recipe differ from other versions?
Jamie Oliver’s chimichurri recipe differs from other versions by including fresh mint and sherry vinegar instead of plain white or red wine vinegar. This adds a hint of sweetness and a unique flavor to the sauce.
What is the best chimichurri sauce recipe for steak?
For steak, a classic Argentinian chimichurri sauce made with finely chopped parsley, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper serves as the perfect complement to the rich flavors of the grilled meat.
Can I make a chimichurri sauce with cilantro instead of parsley?
Yes, you can make a chimichurri sauce with cilantro instead of parsley. Simply substitute cilantro for the parsley in the recipe, and follow the same procedure. Keep in mind that the flavor will be different, as cilantro lends a more vibrant and slightly citrusy taste to the sauce.
How does Gordon Ramsay’s chimichurri recipe stand out?
Gordon Ramsay’s chimichurri recipe stands out by adding a touch of smoked paprika to the mix. This gives the sauce a smoky depth of flavor that pairs exceptionally well with grilled or roasted meats.
What variations can I make to create a unique chimichurri sauce?
To create a unique chimichurri sauce, you can experiment with different herbs, spices, and vinegars. For example, try using basil or cilantro in place of parsley, apple cider vinegar for a sweeter tang, or add spices like cumin or coriander to put your personal spin on the recipe.