The barbecue is now stored away, but that doesn’t not mean we are not able to enjoy the tastes of summer in the form of this chimichurri sauce. Yes! I agree; chimichurri is a mouthful.
It is a loose sauce typically associated with summer because the herbs used to prepare the sauce are more abundant in the summer; and it is traditionally used as a sauce for grilled meat.
Where Does Chimichurri Come From?
It is a popular savoury uncooked sauce which has origins in Argentina and Uruguay. Chimichurri is packed, so full of flavours and you can put it on anything really - fish, vegetables, salads or even chips. It could be used as rub, marinade or sauce.
Chimichurri sauce is typically prepared with parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano and oil; with coriander and chilli peppers as, optional additions. There are red and green variations of the sauce. The difference between the two is that in addition to other ingredients, the red sauce will include, at least one of tomatoes; paprika or red bell peppers.
Green chimichurri sauce might look like pesto, but it has a totally different flavour. It has an intense piquant flavour, with the pungency of the garlic and the fresh earthiness of parsley working very well together. Chimichurri sauce has a vibrant green colour from the herbs, when it is freshly made, and could turn brown after a few days in the fridge; but it doesn’t lose its intense taste.
The only dry ingredients added to chimichurri is oregano. This is because it is one of the few herbs where the flavour becomes more intense in the dry form than the fresh form.
Chimichurri is actually nutrient dense, as it is prepared with healthy and wholesome, raw ingredients. The major ingredients in my chimichurri sauce recipe are parsley and coriander. These two herbs look similar, and that is not surprising because they belong to the same plant family.
Parsley contains myricetin, a flavonoid which has been found to be effective in preventing skin cancer. It is a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and minerals e.g iron, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, niacin, thiamine etc. Parsley is a rich source of vitamins A and C; infact, it has It has around 3 times vitamin C as oranges and twice as much iron as spinach. It is also very rich in Vitamin K, which has a role in bone maintenance and helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Coriander is my favourite herb. I always find an excuse to add it into everything. Coriander does not only lift the taste of food with its distinct flavour, it also has health benefits. Same as parsley, it is rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as vitamin E. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium and manganese along with possessing anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that some of the volatile oils in coriander have anti-bacterial properties.
It is great to be able to enjoy the amazing flavour of chimichurri while knowing that it is also very good for the body.
How To Make Chimichurri Without Red Wine Vinegar
Chimichurri is easy to prepare, and can be easily adapted to suit individual tastes. For this recipe, I replaced the red wine vinegar with lemon juice; and it worked. If you think coriander tastes like soap, you can use just parsley; If you like it more garlicky you can add more garlic – I toned it down and used just enough to get a hint. You can also choose not to add chili, if you don’t like the heat.
Chimichurri is a loose sauce, and most traditional recipes recommend using a mortar and pestle to grind the sauce, but I find that a chore. Instead, I ground coarsely in my food processor. Be careful if you’re using a food processor. Make sure the processor just chops the ingredients, rather than grind into a puree.
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 cup Chopped parsley
- 1 cup Chopped coriander
- 1 Chilli pepper small, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 Lime juiced
- Salt to taste
- Transfer all the ingredients into a food processor and push the button.
- Stop the food processor when the ingredients appear finely chopped.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl, and allow to rest for 10 mins before use.