With an abundance of fresh herbs, it only seemed right to feature these in a dish and so, I recently made a great chimichurri sauce that I served over swordfish.
Chimichurri typically consists of parsley, dried oregano and garlic in a base of olive oil and vinegar. This condiment, traditionally served alongside grilled meats, is a staple in Argentina and Uruguay. I read a great San Francisco Gate article on the history of this herb sauce which noted its origins are unclear — it may come from a bastardization of a meat wholesaler’s name Jimmy Curry or Jimmy McCurry (which I’m not sure if I buy).
Or others say it may have come about when the British were captured in Rio de la Plata in the 1800s and asked for a condiment with their food, mixing several languages to come up with something similar to chimicurri. Finally, some stories say, it comes from the Basque word “‘tximitxurri, loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order,” who arrived in Argentina in the 19th century.
It’s an easy great sauce to whip up for grilled meats or even fish or chicken and definitely one you should have in your back pocket to add a little elegance to a dish.
This particular recipe has basil, oregano, cilantro and parsley with great citrus notes from fresh orange and lemon juice. It was bright and fresh and the citrus was great for summer weather with a little heat from the jalapeño. It was great to step out onto my balcony, pick herbs from our planter and head into the kitchen to prepare something with them. I could get used to this!
- 1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 large orange, zested
- 1 large lemon, zested
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, firmly packed
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves, firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 large jalapenos; stemmed, ribs and seeds removed, and minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- To prepare the chimichurri, place all the ingredients in a food processor and process for 1 to 2 minutes until the ingredients are well combined. Can be used immediately, but for best results refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before serving, to allow to come to room temperature.