Fresh Cilantro Chimichurri: A Burst Of Herb Flavor

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Chimichurri is a vibrant, flavorful sauce originating in Argentina and Uruguay. Traditionally served with grilled meats, it’s a versatile condiment that elevates everything from seafood to vegetables. This recipe focuses on the hero ingredient, cilantro, creating a fresh and herbaceous sauce bursting with summery goodness.

Ingredients:

Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri Sauce

2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional, for extra heat)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Instructions:

    1. Prep the Herbs: Wash and thoroughly dry the cilantro and parsley. Remove the tough stems from the cilantro and chop both herbs finely.

    2. Combine the Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the chopped herbs, garlic, red onion, and jalapeno (if using).

    3. Make the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using). Season generously with salt and pepper.

    4. Emulsify and Taste: Slowly drizzle the dressing into the herb mixture while whisking constantly. This will help emulsify the sauce and create a slightly thicker consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    5. Serve and Enjoy: For the best flavor, let the chimichurri sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve chilled or at room temperature with grilled meats, fish, vegetables, or even use it as a dipping sauce for bread.

    Nutrition Facts (per 2 tablespoons serving):

    Calories: 50

  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 120mg (depending on added salt)
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 1g

  • Conclusion:

    This easy cilantro chimichurri recipe is a delicious and versatile way to add a zing to your meals. With minimal prep time and readily available ingredients, it’s a perfect addition to your culinary repertoire.

    Here are some additional tips:

    For a smoother texture, you can use a food processor to chop the herbs and garlic. Just be careful not to over-process, as you want to maintain a slightly chunky consistency.

  • Experiment with different herbs! Try adding a touch of mint, thyme, or oregano for a unique twist.
  • Leftover chimichurri can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

  • Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. Can I substitute parsley for cilantro?

    Yes, you can use all parsley or a combination of parsley and other herbs like basil or mint. However, the flavor profile will be different, lacking the distinct taste of cilantro.

    2. How spicy is this chimichurri?

    This recipe has a mild to medium heat level. If you prefer a spicier sauce, keep the seeds in the jalapeno or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

    3. Is chimichurri good for vegetarians?

    Absolutely! Chimichurri is naturally vegetarian and vegan, making it a fantastic condiment for plant-based dishes.

    4. What other dishes can I use chimichurri with?

    Chimichurri goes beyond grilled meats. Try it on roasted vegetables, tofu, tempeh, eggs, or even add a dollop to soups and stews for an extra flavor boost.

    5. My chimichurri seems too runny. How can I thicken it?