Chimichurri is a spicy, vinegar-spiked, pesto-like condiment from Argentina where it’s used both as a sauce and a marinade for meat. Its bright flavours reflect the combination of Spanish and Italian influences in Argentina. It’s one of the world’s great condiments and a great way to add a touch of authentic flair to any grilled meat or fish. You may serve or use as a marinade immediately, but this condiment is at its best after a day or two of refrigeration.
Yield: Makes about 2 cups
a bunch parsley
a bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
4 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
a sprinkle or two sea salt
Toss the herbs, garlic, jalapeÃ±o pepper and red wine vinegar into a food processor and purée until coarsely chopped. While the food processor is running pour in the olive oil until a creamy yet chunky sauce forms. Add salt to taste.
Try adding an onion or a spoonful of ground cumin seeds for even more flavour.
A traditional pesto genovese is made with loads of fresh basil, but by no means do you have to stick by tradition. This version has been jazzed up with pungent sun-dried tomatoes. Pesto means paste, and it can have infinite variations based on what inspires you. Switch up the nuts or cheese, add some herbs or spices, or zip it up with some hot sauce.
It’s easy to make your own personalized salad dressings. The basic ratio of sour, sweet and oil is easily modified and infinitely variable. This recipe makes enough for several salads because it’s just as easy to make a lot as a little and, once you taste your own dressings, you won’t be able to get enough.