Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chimichurri – I Could Almost Drink It!

Have you experienced Chimichurri? It's an Argentinian Sauce, similar to Pesto, but made with a Parsley base.  If you haven't, you must! It was love at first taste for me.  A couple of years ago we went to Eastland Cafe for dinner with friends. In our life, this is considered special-occasion, high-style dining – since eating out in our world usually does not include table cloths, servers, and low lighting.

(I wrote here about the dilemma I face when upscale dining, regarding the salad and main dish courses.)

I struggle with the fact that meat is typically not my favorite part of the meal, and yet it is seen as the main attraction on most menus.  Everything else is simply building up to this apex.  I had difficulty ordering at Eastland Cafe because of this very dilemma.  So, I opted instead to order a salad and some sides.  I felt good about the decision.  I had fried green tomatoes, a beet-topped green salad, a sweet potato dish and something else that escapes me now.  It was all very tasty.  However, I have to report that the highlight of the meal, for me, was the fresh, warm bread and bowl of chimichurri for dipping that was brought at the beginning of our meal.  Oh my....a party for the taste buds! It was so good, I almost drank it.  This began my love (and pursuit) of chimichurri.

I talked to my creative, culinarily friend Rich about it (who happens to be an amazingly creative photographer as well), because I figured he might have a recipe for it.  This summer, he made it happen.  And it was everything I dreamed it to be! He served it poured over grilled flank steak and it was a hit. We all, including the kids, went crazy (Asher went a little crazier than the other kids, but they all loved it). We served it with roasted vegetables, braised purple cabbage and crusty bread.  During the meal we felt compelled to pour the chimichurri over the veggies and dip our bread into it.

We made it the other night and I was able to take a few photos to share with you.  We had a few tablespoons of the chimichurri left.  I saved it.  (If you know me you are not surprised by this). We had some left over pasta noodles in the fridge, so the next day I tossed them together and Shazam! a tasty lunch.  It's delicious on any meat, fish or vegetables.

borrowed from Simply Recipes

1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
3-4 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves (can substitute 2 tsp. dried oregano)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Finely chop the parsley, fresh oregano, and garlic (or process in a food processor several pulses). Place in a small bowl.

Stir the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a measuring cup.  Adjust seasoning to taste. Pour oil mixture over parsley mixture and stir until well combined.

Serve immediately or refrigerate.  If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.  Can keep for a day or two.

Flank Steak

Flank Steak
Salt and Pepper
Lemon juice
Worcestershire Sauce

Pat meat dry. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper (on both sides).  Dash  Worcestershire Sauce and the juice of a lemon over it (on both sides).
Cook on heated grill over high heat to sear it.  Do not overcook it. 
Rich says the rarer the better.

Chimichurri is so simple.  It takes only a few minutes to make and yet it can transform a meal.

Which, by the way, simple, delicious recipes like this create somewhat of a problem in my life.  Being the tightwad that I am, and loving really tasty food it is hard for me to justify paying $25 for dinner, when it can be made simply at home for a fraction of the cost! And you get to have leftovers! (Not to mention you can do this while wearing your sweat pants).


  1. Julie,
    Matt just mentioned to me you had a cooking blog this weekend.
    What a treat!
    Can't wait to try some.

  2. Julie, this sounds fabulous. Your enthusiasm really comes across which I'm sure makes everyone's mouth water like mine is right now. Thanks for sharing! - Kendra

  3. Cindy, so glad you found me! I would love to see you sometime. We love getting to be in community with your son!

    and Kendra..I have this common occurrence that my mouth starts watering as I work on a post, looking at the photos and writing about my love for the recipe. I then have to go to the store and buy the ingredients to make it again ASAP! Thanks for reading. This dish seems like an Allen kind of recipe to me.

  4. Julie, it's no wonder you are such a dear friend. I found myself nodding throughout this entire post! From not loving meat to being a tightwad to the best part (for me)...not changing out of your sweats! :) Can't wait to try this yummy sauce! I love everything on your blog!

  5. :) Jennifer, I love that we have all these things in common...and much, much more! Thanks for your encouragement!