My favorite way to use fresh, home-grown Cilantro and my favorite way to get a concentrated hit of nutrition-packed greens is to make my own version of Chimichurri.
This delicious, piquant, uncooked sauce or condiment originated in Argentina and Uruguay, where it is traditionally used to dress grilled meats, but it is great on avocado, raw or grilled vegetables, potatoes, eggs, meats, poultry, fish, crostini, you name it!
The basic ingredients are finely chopped herbs, garlic, oil and vinegar. It differs from pesto in not having any nuts or cheese in it, and using vinegar. Chimichurri can take a simple dish and elevate it to something incredible! The vinegar gives it some acidic tang and also acts as a preservative so it will keep for weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen. Bring it to room temperature before use.
I make my Chimmichuri in a food processor. A mortar and pestle would probably work, and so would a blender.
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- Optional: replace some of the above greens with fresh arugula, spinach, arugula, miner’s lettuce, orach, dandelion greens, herbs, or whatever you have growing
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar (I add a dash of sweet balsamic reduction and some fresh lime juice)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1: Chop the Garlic and Herbs
Place the garlic in a small food processor. Pulse until you’ve chopped the garlic into small pieces. Then, add the cilantro, parsley, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Process the mixture until it’s finely chopped.
2: Add the Vinegar and Oil
Add the vinegar to the herb mixture and start processing. With the blades running, gradually add the oil in a steady stream. Remove the sauce from the bowl and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. If the mixture is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the right consistency for you.