What do martinis and chimichurri have in common? February 10, 2014

Answer: they are best served according to their traditional ingredients. This means dry vermouth and gin for martinis and parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and red-pepper flakes (or some very similar combination) for chimichurri.  That’s it.  As Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

As a self-admitted “foodie”, I am open to various food trends which I encounter during my eating adventures.  A modern spin on tacos, Korean bbq, or tapas can be a fun change of pace from time to time.  In fact, I believe fusion cuisine can be a great way of exposing less adventures pallets to new dishes.

That said, people have taken it a bit far with a few things.  I’m sure many of you are familiar with the bastardized versions of the classic martini: appletinis, chocolatinis, saketinis…the list goes on.  More disconcerting, however, is how this trend has even encompassed chimichurri–the classic accompaniment to Argentine asado dishes.   I have seen several strange variations on chimichurri, including habanero chimichurri (far too spicy for South American cuisine), avocado chimichurri (I don’t even know what that means), and even strawberry chimichurri! (since when did fruit make its way into this condiment?)

I suppose to each his own, especially in the food world, but for those of you looking for a more traditional chimichurri to serve on your table, I am including my recipe below which I’ve served at all of my asados and received numerous compliments.  Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
6-8 peeled cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon crushed red- pepper flakes
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt, and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Mince the garlic very finely (I like to use a food processor) and put in a medium bowl. Next, mince the parsley and oregano (again, I prefer the use of a food processor), and add to the garlic, along with the red-pepper flakes. Then, whisk in the salted water.  Whisk in red-wine vinegar, then the olive oil.  After all ingredients have been thoroughly whisked, the chimichurri should have a saucy texture with a thin layer of olive oil covering the top.  If it seems a bit “dry” try adding another 1/4 cup of olive oil and/or a small amount of salted water to give it the desired texture.  Transfer to a jar or tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid, and keep in the refrigerator. I like to let the flavors meld for at least a day but even two days is fine.  The sauce can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

 

CC Image by julie:stonesoup on Flickr