How to Make Chimichurri

The first time I tasted chimichurri was in Westlake Village at a place called Galletto Bar & Grill, which I frequented often. I went a few months ago and ordered my favorite dish-the Brazilian Chicken (pictured below). It's utterly amazing. I think this dish changes my brain every time I eat it because it's just so good. The black beans and rice, combined with the acidity in the chicken and chimichurri make for a perfect blend of flavors that seem to dance in your mouth as you're eating.

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Via @thereallisakerr on Instagram

I didn't know what the amazing green sauce was on the plate until my boyfriend (who ordered the seared tuna) did some research. He showed up one day to the house with chicken kebabs and a jar of it. The jar didn't have the same flavor as Galletto's, but it peaked my interest into what makes a good chimichurri and where it actually comes from. I mean, we could go to Galletto every single night for dinner, but we probably won't.

The seared tuna, which was really amazing.
The seared tuna at Galletto, which was really amazing.

So what is chimichurri and why am I so into it? Chimichurri is an herb-based condiment that hails from Argentina. It's usually used for grilled meat and is made up of parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano and vinegar. Quite simple, really, but if you want to know more about the history of chimichurri, here's a bit more: 

The origin of the word chimichurri is unclear. One story says it is a corruption of English words, most commonly the name Jimmy Curry or Jimmy McCurry, supposedly a meat wholesaler.

The Argentine gourmet Miguel Brascó claims that the word chimichurri came about when the British were captured after the failed British invasions of the Río de la Plata in 1806-1807. The prisoners asked for condiments for their food, mixing English, aboriginal and Spanish words. Still other stories say the name of the sauce comes from the Basque settlers who arrived in Argentina in the 19th century, and the name of the sauce comes from the term tximitxurri, loosely translated as "a mixture of several things in no particular order."

But Perbacco chef, and food scholar, Staffan Terje says that chimichurri is practically identical to the Sicilian salmoriglio sauce. Salmoriglio is used mainly on seafood and vegetables, while chimichurri is used mainly on grilled meat. Both sauces are incredibly versatile and may be used as marinades and finishing sauces as well as salad dressings. They are good on meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. (More here.)

But what we all really want to know is how to make our own chimichurri at home? The kind that brings back that 'dance in the mouth' kind of flavor from Galletto? I've searched online and found a simple chimichurri recipe from the website Laylita's Recipes. It's easy. It's simple and it looks mouthwatering.

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Chimichurri Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups fresh parsley leaves
  • 6 basil leaves
  • Leaves from 3 oregano sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole or crushed
  • 3 tbs vinegar, can use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tbs of oil
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder, more or less based on your preference
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in the blender (or mini food processor), mix until you have a smooth sauce. For a more rustic chimichurri, blend all the ingredients except the oil and then stir it in at the end.
  2. Taste and adjust salt/pepper or chili powder as needed. You can also adjust the amount of vinegar based on the acidity level that you prefer.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use (but should be used the same day).

Bon Apetit! 

Original chimichurri recipe is here.

 A Foodies Dream is a weekend feature, including the best food recipes I’ve found online. All of which I’m dying to try. I’m a foodie and if you’re reading this, you probably are, too. Happy eating & enjoy the foodies dream! Let me know in the comments if you try any of these recipes (or if you adapt any to your own taste). This week’s theme is chimichurri. 

Lisa Kerr is a California blogger at lisakerr.net. You can find her on Twitter @thereallisakerr

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