Top | Latin Grilling

Chimichurri

(recipe, Lourdes Castro)

Introduction

If you ask me, chimichurri is as tied to Argentina's national profile as gauchos and the tango. This incredibly versatile sauce, with its bright and vibrant flavors, can also be used as a grilling marinade for chicken, fish, or beef. Make extra to store as a flavorful addition to a midweek meal (chimichurri can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days).

Ingredients

  1. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (see Note, below)
  2. 1 tsp. salt
  3. 2 cups lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
  4. ½ cup fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
  5. ½ cup red-wine vinegar
  6. 1 cup olive oil
  7. 1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper

Steps

  1. Create a garlic paste: place the crushed garlic on your cutting board and sprinkle the salt over it. Wait a minute or so; you will notice some moisture leaching from the garlic. Holding your knife blade almost parallel to the cutting board, scrape the blade over the chopped garlic a few times, turning the garlic into a semisoft paste.
  2. Place the garlic paste in a small mixing bowl. Add the parsley, oregano, vinegar, oil, and crushed red pepper, and stir until well combined.
  3. Place the sauce in a small serving bowl and serve. To store for later use, place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Note

Garlic paste is made by mashing or scraping garlic cloves with salt, either with a mortar and pestle or on a cutting board with a knife. The salt is necessary to bring the moisture out of the garlic cloves. I use this technique often, especially when garlic will be left raw, as it mellows the flavor a bit and eliminates the possibility that one of my guests or I will bite into a chunk of raw garlic.