Ask anyone. I can’t grow a vegetable garden to save my life. While this is bad news for my desire to grow my own tomatoes, this is good news for all the local farmers, who I keep in business all year long. However, one thing I can grow is parsley. And that is excellent news for my love of chimichurri sauce since I can make the sauce at a moment’s notice simply by trimming back my parsley plants and pulling out the food processor.
Flank steak? Grilled summer squash? Chicken thighs? Roasted potatoes? Sausages? Bread? All made better by the addition of this slightly spicy, vinegary sauce.
I started making a version of this sauce over a decade ago when I was looking for something different to do with grilled steak and I’ve been adjusting and perfecting it ever since. Right now I’m all about red wine vinegar and jalapeno to provide the kick it needs. I’ve tried other acids and spices but I always come back to these two in combination with parsley to produce the sauce I crave.
And it doesn’t get easier than dropping ingredients in the processor and giving it a whir! No processor though? No problem. A knife and a cutting board and a couple extra minutes and you’ll be enjoying this sauce too. It’ll be a bit chunkier but it will still be just as tasty.
I know a lot people enjoy some cilantro mixed into the sauce. Feel free to add a few tablespoons, or more! (Though increase the olive oil a bit to compensate for the extra volume.) I sadly live in a cilantro-free zone due to the ‘cilantro tastes like soap gene’ which has taken over the rest of the family so I will have to live vicariously through you. Strictly speaking, cilantro is not authentic to the original sauce, but neither is jalapeno. It’s the nature of recipes to change as new people try them and fit them into their style of eating.
Also, have a bunch of parsley and everything else on hand to make the sauce but forgot to buy a jalapeno? This is when a jar of pickled, sliced jalapenos can save the day. I do like the bright flavor of the fresh pepper but I don’t always have them on hand, or the jalapenos at the supermarket are old and unappealing. Add a few slices of pickled jalapenos and you’re back in business.[spacer height=”20px”]
Time to go out a buy a flank steak or some mixed vegetables to put on the grill and pull out a nice, crusty loaf of bread. The sauce is made and dinner is on its way.
- 1 cup (packed) fresh flat leafed parsley
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, or 2 tsp dried
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- ½ tsp paprika
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of the food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
- If you don't have a processor, or simply prefer a chunkier sauce: chop the herbs, dice the jalapeno, mince the garlic, put them and the rest of the ingredients into a bowl, and stir.