Chimichurri is a condiment I simply cannot live without. I used to buy a fantastic green sauce from a local South American cook who sold her food at markets and then went on to own her own restaurant in Bree Street. The restaurant was called Orinoco and the sauce was called ‘guasacaca’ and I would slather it on everything but especially loved it on chicken. Orinoco sadly closed down and so did my supply of this amazing green sauce. All the recipes I have seen on line for it don’t resemble the sauce she made and all include avocado. Hers didn’t. I will probably make up a few recipes and see if I can match how I remember hers being but in the meantime, I’m finding Chimichurri hits my green-sauce-loving spot. A chicken mayo sandwich is just not the same with out it and it livens up a plain grilled streak like nothing else I know.
I made a biggish quantity here because I had a lot of herbs lying around after various shoots. It’s a great way to use up the spare bits before they dry out and wither. You can use a mix of whatever herbs you like, and parsley is the most traditional, but I really love to use a good amount of coriander (around half). Parsley, basil and mint make the balance of the herbs with mint being the least amount I add. I prefer to do the chopping by hand. I find when you pulse herbs in a food processor for a sauce like this they can become bitter, so I use a mezzaluna to get the work done. It’s very therapeutic.
You then add some flavour bits and I like garlic (but not too much) chilli (red or green) and lemon zest. Olive oil binds it together, and a combination of lemon juice and red wine vinegar brings the acidity to the mix. Season your sauce generously with salt and pepper. This gets stored in a jar in my fridge and it lasts for months. I’m probably not supposed to say it lasts that long but it really does.
Halve the recipe if you have smaller amounts of herbs. Also, the quantities don’t have to be precise. Just taste and see how you go. I sometimes chop up the greens much rougher and I like that too. You could also add a tablespoon of very finely chopped red onion or red shallot.
A delicious South American green sauce
- 2 cups of chopped herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, mint)
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic minced (depending on how garlicky you like it)
- Zest of a lemon
- ½ – 1 red or green chilli very finely minced / chopped
- Juice of a lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- 3 – 4 Tbs red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup – 1 cup olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Add the ingredients together and mix to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference. Store I a sterilized jar with a good seal in the fridge.
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