Chimichurri. I developed a deep, deep love for this condiment several years back during a brief visit to Honduras. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a rough track record of being afraid of anything “unusual”…and at one point, generally all ethnic food was unusual to me. I was pretty nervous going to Honduras, because I figured I would generally starve out of sheer terror of all the “unusual”, scary food. I pictured eating greasy organs covered with unbearably spicy chilis.
However, I was beyond ecstatic when I realized that everything the beautiful people of Honduras prepared for me was out-of-this-world good.
And there were condiments. Lots and lots of condiments. This gave me full power to control what happened to my food once it hit the table… something this control freak likes! I was pretty hesitant with most of the condiments, but I was talked into trying the chimichurri. Holy moly. My world had opened. This was THE best sauce I had ever tried. Oily and garlicky with fresh parsley and just a touch of heat. Whenever I got my hands on it, I pretty much poured it over everything I had on my plate. Divine.
Now, I should note that chimichurri is actually originally from Argentina (NOT Honduras), but it can be found all over South and Central America. Once you try it, you’ll understand it’s popularity. It is generally served with grilled meats, but it can truly brighten anything. It can be used as a dip, a marinade, a substitute for pesto, a salsa for tacos, a topping for a soup or stew… my personal favorite is using it as a dip for fried plantains…the possibilities really are endless.
Last night, I used it to dress up some fish. I was cooking a rather thrown together dinner and had bought some fish with really no plan for what to do with it. But then, the craving came to me. I had a giant bunch of parsley just chillin in the fridge.
- 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed (some use 1/2 parsley and 1/2 cilantro)
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Throw everything into a food processor. Pulse until it’s lookin’ good. EAT ON EVERYTHING.