The Easy Sauce You Can Bank, to Up Your Spontaneous Grill Game This Summer – Chimichurri

You guys, I have a confession: I hate cilantro.* I used to think I hate parsley, but in the last five years its resemblance to the flavor of cilantro has faded. Then, I had the privilege to vacation in Chile last year, and there was this sauce that kept appearing at restaurants with the steak. It tasted of garlic, and was full of green stuff. I liked it so much I had to stop a waiter to find out what it was. His reply was: chimichurri. Obvi, K and I had to grab some pre-mixed (as training wheels) packets on our habitual grocery-store-for-travel-keepsakes** run before we left Santiago. I think it was a Carrefour..

Fast forward months later when I finally got around to mixing it up as K seared some steak on the Big Green Egg, some balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, and a bunch of the dry packet. Eh, it was okay, but it also kind of tasted like dried leaves and dust. Long-time readers may notice this packet also made an appearance in one crispy-bottomed oyster mushroom steak post. The sauce was much improved once eaten on top of something, but I feel like anything you pour atop something else, even if a little strong, should be able to stand on its own too.

Now get back in the time machine, and move forward a little more:

Chimichurri sauce recipe from L. Borchert
Chimichurri sauce recipe, thanks to L. Borchert!

I went out and got some actual red wine vinegar to add to my pantry for this, just to get closer to the intended flavor. I was doing another recipe that called for some parsley, and needed to make use of the rest before it sits in a jar in the back of my fridge getting forgotten. Then, I mixed up a big batch of this into 3 mason jars, to last a whole month in the fridge! This sauce gives some nice interesting punch to almost anything, although I found I didn’t like adding it to something that already had flavor, like sugar snap peas with mushrooms and lemon. Having this sauce sitting around was a really convenient option for ad hoc flavor punch, I even brought it an a road trip to Leavenworth with an outdoor kitchen/grilling setup. So convenient!

Important Note on an Extra Step Beyond Recipe:
I browned the garlic first, to remove heartburn and make it sweeter.

Ingredients: garlic, fresh oregano from garden, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil, parsley, and smoked paprika from a Try the World box way back when.
Step 1: chop.
Step 2: saute the garlic until brown but before burnt (follow your nose).
End product of step 1.
Step 3: Throw it all in a food processor. Look how beautiful that paprika is, all red, on green!
Step 4: Enjoy atop steak! Shown here: steak, roasted cauliflower and salad greens.

*Did you know there’s a website for it? Ihatecilantro.com

**Travel adventurer pro-tip: a grocery store run in a foreign country is a great way to get local, cheap, authentic consumable souvenirs at local-friendly prices.

 

Novelty Rating: 4 of 5, novelty tastes good, this sauce can be added without too much worry of over-salting or sugar in your food.
Likelihood of Repeat: 75%
Lesson learned: Maybe not making 3 batches of it to eat in 1 month. I am mildly chimichurri’d out. Also: I like parsley! Yay, one more thing to eat!

Here, I just threw the steak in a ramekin of the sauce. Oily, but yummy.

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