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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chimichurri fit for a Gaucho

Don't be fooled! Although chimichurri sounds like it should be something Mexican and deep-fried (like a chimichanga, a deep-fried burrito), it's not. Chimichurri is an incredibly versatile marinade/sauce/delicious dunk from Argentina with bright, refreshing, crisp flavors that's great for a whole slew of summer dishes.

Legend has it that the name Chimichurri comes from Argentines trying to pronounce 'Jimmy McCurry', "an Irishman who is said to have first prepared the sauce." (Thanks, Wikipedia!) Wherever it came from, it's delicious. I'm happy just dunking bread in it, but it's really good as a spread on sandwiches, tossed with roasted potatoes or pasta, on top of tofu, tossed with chickpeas, rice, or vegetables, or used as a dressing... your imagination is the limit! (* A "Gaucho" is an Argentine cowboy. And they don't mess around with their beef there.)

1 bunch fresh parsley (flat leaf)
2 cloves garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In the food processor whirl the garlic for a few seconds to give it a head start mincing. That way you won't have chunks of garlic in your chimichurri.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and whirl until the mixture comes together, but is not totally smooth. You still want the parsley to have some texture.

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