Blended Salad: Chimichurri

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I don’t like salad. And I don’t like smoothies. But if you put them together you end up with something spectacular that is more than the sum of its parts: chimichurri!

This is part of the Anthony Bourdain philosophy of cooking: “An ounce of sauce can cover a multitude of sins.” But you really don’t need culinary sinning as an excuse to break out this zippy Argentinian condiment. (Yes, it’s “zippy” get over it.)

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Cheetara hunts for parsley

Poor, poor parsley. Doomed to outdated garnish as either a helpless sprig (possibly used to freshen breath after a meal by those in the know) or a passe green confetti sprinkled around the rim of a plate. But parsley is a delicious flavor guys. It’s green and peppery and it deserves to be a star flavor. Fortunately our South American friends have put it in its rightful place.

Of course, now that I’ve sung the praises of parsley, I’m also going to tell you that sauces like chimichurri and pesto are a great place to use up greens you have lying around – cilantro, basil, spinach, or in this case carrot greens (which taste like parsley and carrots). I had the carrot greens lying around from an earlier recipe that used carrots.

This is a TLAR (That Looks About Right) sort of recipe, so use my measurements as a jumping off point. Adjust the proportions (you may want to start with less of the vinegar and oil so you can adjust it to your taste).

This is a time to use the good, strongly flavored extra virgin olive oil.

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Decorative gourds and apples for the fall

Chimichurri

Procs: About a cup

Difficulty: none at all if you have a food processor (a blender is . . . . okay, but suboptimal)

Equipment: Food Processor

Mats:

  • Two cups of packed greens (at least half parsley), roughly chopped
    • Colin really likes cilantro here
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic or a shallot, roughly chopped
    • I left this out of the cilantro version I made because Colin isn’t eating aliums right now.
  • 2-3 tbsp of fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp (or more) of crushed red pepper
  • 2 three-finger-pinches of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
    • Red wine vinegar is traditions
    • I use cider vinegar frequently
  • 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil

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    Choose your own adventure chimichurri

Walkthrough

  1. Put everything except the olive oil in the workbowl of the food processor. Blend until finely chopped (not a paste). Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil in a slow drizzle as the processor runs.
  3. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
  4. Use it to top protein. Hearty cuts of beef like skirt steak is traditional. But nothing says you can’t put it on poached chicken. I bet it would also kick some serious butt on tofu.
  5. Keeps about two days.

 

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Roughly chopped greens

ProTip: There are some foods that taste better after they’ve sat overnight. Chili, pot roast, many stews . . .  and chimichurri. The technical kitchen term for this is “marrying”, as in “let the flavors marry overnight.” Now, any chimichurri is better than no chimichurri, so if you only have half an hour before dinner don’t let that stop you from making this. It will be best if it can sit overnight though. Bear that in mind if you’re menu planning for the week.

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