We have a new favorite condiment here at our house, and living at ground zero of the salsa world, that is saying a lot. But although this saucy condiment is new to our family, it isn’t new to the world. From parts way south of the border, like Argentina and Uruguay, the culinary world has received chimichurri, a condiment of mixed veggie matter that is used for preparing and/or dressing grilled meats. Since discovering this culinary delight, we have been using it for everything, because it’s so much more than just another salsa.
The true origin of the strange name isn’t really known, but I like the explanation that the name may come from a Basque term, tximitxurri, (which looks kind of Aztec to me). A loose translation is “a mix of several things in no particular order”. Yup, that’s about it.
People from the Basque region of Spain settled in Argentina and other parts of South America in the 1800s and perhaps brought this recipe with them, or adapted the ingredients from their new homeland into this tasty condiment.
There are basic ingredients in all chimichurri sauces, which includes parsley, garlic, vinegar, and oil, but what makes our new chimichurri recipe so special is that we have made some changes that really make the flavors pop. Like New Mexico’s chili salsas, chimichurri may be red or green, red being the tomato version. I’m not eating too much of tomato products anymore because I’m somewhat allergic. So – green it is. Never be afraid to experiment.
For our version of chimichurri, we went with a flavor infused olive oil and that made a HUGE difference. We have a few different flavors around, and this time we used “Persian Lime” infused olive oil. We used this limey chimichurri on shrimp tacos and the added lime flavor was beyond perfect. But would it be good on fried pork chops? Absolutely. The next night it was awesome on pork chops too.
Adobe Nido Chimichurri
yield is about 2+ cups – use fresh, not dried ingredients!
1 green jalapeño
4 green onions (scallions, use the white and light green parts)
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Lime infused olive oil*
1/2 cup any type of parsley (cilantro may also be used, but I don’t like it much)
1/2 cup Italian oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
a pinch or 2 of red pepper flakes
This can be done without a mini food processor, but that is what works best. Pulse chop the parsley first and then adding all the other coarsely chopped ingredients, spices and liquids. Blend quickly until everything is well mixed and then let sit at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
No food processor? No problem. All the whole ingredients must be very finely chopped, and then add the spices and liquids and whisk together well. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to marry.
After 30 minutes the sauce is ready to use. You may marinate with the chimichurri, or just use it as a condiment on hot to cold foods. It was great on a sandwich too. Enjoy!
* I bought our flavor infused olive oil at the ABQ Olive Oil Company in Corrales. They have two tap rooms in Albuquerque where you can go in and sample any oil or infused balsamic vinegar they sell, and they have quite a few. Plan to spend a little fun time there when you go.