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Monthly Recipe: Keeping it Simple with Chimichurri

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This month we’re launching a healthy eating series, featuring simple recipes with real ingredients that can be made by anyone – from kitchen klutz to the home cook extraordinaire.

I know what you’re thinking. You don’t need another lecture about the perils of gluten or drinking too much alcohol. Ask most people about eating healthy and you’ll see their eyes glaze over. Isn’t it all poached chicken breast and steamed veggies? Blah.

I’m here to tell you that eating clean and healthy doesn’t have to be a drag. Which is why we’re starting with one of our favorite go-to recipes, a simple, versatile sauce that’s super easy to make.

When it comes to nutritional bang for the buck, this South American powerhouse packs a real punch. It’s full of anti-oxidants, micro-nutrients and essential oils, and its flavor can’t be beat. Bright and acidic, it can be used as a marinade or sauce for any meat, fish, poultry or even on veggies.

Feel free to experiment with this recipe – use it as a jumping off point and build the sauce to your taste. Use different herbs, or try an onion instead of shallot. Use less jalapeño if you don’t love spice. Throw out the measurements and grab a handful of this, a splash of that. Or, follow the recipe closely and build from there. It’s a forgiving combination that is a great jumping off point for new cooks.

Give it a try and post your results in the comments!

Chimichurri

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 small jalapeño or other chile, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (or one nice big handful) each parsley and cilantro, finely or roughly chopped

1/2 cup good quality olive oil (or you could try avocado or walnut oil)

A few grinds of cracked pepper and salt to taste.

Step 1:
Combine the vinegar, jalapeño, garlic, shallot, and salt in a medium bowl. Let stand 10 minutes or so.

This is what finely chopped looks like. Do your best and don’t stress too much about it.

 

Step 2:
Add the herbs and mix thoroughly with a fork.

Nice, big handfuls of cilantro and flat-leaf parsley. Chop roughly for a more rustic sauce.

 

Step 3:
Slowly whisk in the oil, then taste for balance. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

The finished sauce. If it’s too tart for you, more oil and less vinegar will make a smoother sauce.

 

You can also make the whole thing in your food processor, if you have one! Simply start with the aromatics (jalapeño, garlic, shallot) and pulse until finely chopped.

Add the herbs, salt, and a few cracks of pepper, and pulse a few more times.

Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl, then add the vinegar and oil as above, tasting frequently for balance. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.

Now, enjoy!

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