Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)

Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)

This traditional Argentine herb sauce is great on grilled meat or fish

Chimichurri Sauce mixes minced parsley (and often cilantro) with lively spices and vinegar. It’s a traditional topping for grilled steak in Argentina. But it’s also tasty on any grilled meat, fowl, or fish.

This sauce takes only a few minutes to make. And, conveniently, you can prepare it a couple of hours ahead of time.

The flavor is so enticing, you’ll be tempted to use it as a spread or dip. Ask us how we know.

Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)

Recipe: Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)

The essential ingredient for Chimichurri Sauce is finely minced parsley (we use a food processor because it’s easier). Cilantro makes a frequent appearance, too (but skip that if you don’t like it). Plus vinegar (we like red wine vinegar) and olive oil. And seasonings.

It’s a very flexible recipe – exact quantities and ingredients can be altered to taste. (In fact you'll find different variations in Argentina.)

This recipe takes 10 to 15 minutes to make and yields about 1½ cups.

Chimichurri Sauce is best used the same day it’s made. But leftovers will keep for a couple of days if refrigerated in an airtight container (you’ll lose a bit of the sparkle, but it’ll still be good).

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup leaves and tender stems of parsley (packed moderately tightly)
  • ½ to 1 cup leaves and tender stems of cilantro (to taste; again, pack it moderately tightly in the measuring cup)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste; optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin (or more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup olive oil (or to taste)

Procedure 

  1. Add the garlic to a food processor and whirl until it’s chopped. Then add the parsley, cilantro, oregano, red pepper flakes, ground cumin, and salt. Pulse until the parsley and cilantro are finely chopped, and everything is nicely mixed together.
  2. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil to the food processor and pulse to mix. You should have a thickish sauce that has body to it, but that will easily drop from a spoon.
  3. Taste, add more of any ingredient to balance the flavor (if necessary), then scrape the mixture into a lidded container.
  4. If using within the next 2 hours or so, let the sauce sit out at room temperature. Otherwise, refrigerate it until you’re ready to use. If you refrigerate, let the sauce come to room temperature before serving.

Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)
Notes

  • You can make this sauce entirely by hand if you wish: Mince the parsley and cilantro, place them in a bowl, then whisk in the other ingredients (add the olive oil last). 
  • We use a large food processor when we make this. A mini food processor works, but you’ll have to add the parsley and cilantro in batches to get it properly minced.
  • Better-quality olive oil will yield a better tasting sauce. Adjust the quantity to taste – use less if you want a thicker sauce, more if you want a thinner one.
  • We use kosher salt for cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
  • We most often use this sauce as a topping on meat. But it’s also good as a sandwich spread. It’s great for a leftover steak sandwich – or even a fried egg sandwich.
  • Chimichurri Sauce also makes a nice dip for chips or veggies. If you use it as a dip, try mixing it with some sour cream for added flavor and texture.
  • There are many parsley-based sauces around the world. Italian Salsa Verde is probably the best known. There’s no cilantro in that one, and it usually substitutes lemon juice for vinegar. It also adds capers and (typically) an anchovy or two.
  • Another of our favorites is Moroccan Chermoula Sauce (aka Charmoula), which always contains parsley and cilantro. It usually adds paprika, ground coriander, and sometimes mint (always, when we make it). Often served on fish, it’s also good on grilled meats.
  • The easiest to make might be French Persillade, which typically is just parsley, garlic, and salt chopped together. This sauce is superb with sautéed potatoes, or even french fries. Or rare roast lamb. A more elaborate version might contain olive oil and maybe vinegar. And occasionally anchovy.

Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)
Herbaceous

“This sauce makes me chimmi with delight,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.

“I beg your parsley,” I said. “Those terrible puns are my job!”

“Thought I’d help you out,” said Mrs K R. “Call it cilantro-py.”

Mrs K R? Who’s she? I’ve never seen herbivore. 

You may also enjoy reading about:

70 comments:

Fran @ G'day Souffle said...

So many dips and sauces using cilantro and parsley! Now to choose which meat to use (or could be vegetarian as well). In the spirit of 'inclusiveness', it might be time to allow Mrs. KR to make some puns! Thanks for the recipe!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Fran, Mrs KR makes pretty good puns. :-) Thanks for the comment.

savorthebest said...

Great sauce! I use my food processor for this as well. It is so much quicker and easier to make a large batch that way.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pat and Dahn, the food processor is definitely the way to go -- SO easy. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anne in the kitchen said...

All that delicious and it is keto friendly too (which I will hop back on when our houseguests are gone, but not one minute before)
I am going to make this as soon as they leave!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anne, we love this! Terrific on steak in particular, but also good by the spoonful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Mae Travels said...

I've had that in an Argentine cafe: very nice!

Along with the other herb preps, you could also have mentioned pesto, which uses basil as the herbal flavor -- but some people make it with other herbs as well. Trader Joe makes a pesto with kale. Different --(parmesan and pine nuts, sometimes) but there's still a strong connection.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Ben | Havocinthekitchen said...

I love various dips and sauces, but indeed I've never made authentic Chimichurri, so thank your for such a delicious reminder. I love your photos with those dramatic shadows, and needless to say the steak looks terrific!

Pam said...

I love chimichurri--especially on steak! Looks and sounds tasty.

Chef Mimi said...

Oh how I love chimichurri. When we were in Peru, quite a few times I was offered both a green and red chimichurri. I keep forgetting to look at what the red version might have been. It was good, and not like a chile pepper hot sauce.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Mae, pesto is, of course, another classic "green" sauce. So many, and all so good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

John, I first had chimichurri sauce in an Argentine restaurant in Chicago. On steak, of course. It was a revelation. You can also spoon some into a pot of soup to liven it up. Thanks for the great recipe!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ben, it's always a pleasure to photograph steak. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pam, isn't it a great sauce? One of our favorite steak garnishes. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Mimi, I don't know red chimichurri -- need to look that up! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Terry, haven't added it to soup! Great idea -- I will. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love chimichurri!! (well, who doesn't?) It's so good with the steak. I love the idea of using it for some egg sandwiches.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Angie, it's really good with eggs. :-) Thanks for the comment.

mjskit said...

Like so many other people, I too LOVE chimichurri! I especially like it on beans and in carne tacos. I have an abundance of parsley so what a great idea for using some of it. Thanks for the idea! I'll to try it on eggs now after reading Angie's comment.

Bernadette said...

Great post and I especially enjoyed the humor.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi MJ, we need to try it on beans! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bernadette, glad you enjoyed it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Denise Browning said...

Love in many things including skirt steak.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Denise, we like this a lot with skirt and flank steak. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Healthy World Cuisine said...

This is one luxurious sauce and those photos... love those moody shots. Chimichurri sauce is delicious on so many proteins and veggies alike. Glad to see we are not the only one to use some of the tender stems of parsley. Waste not want not, right.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bobbi, we keep finding new things to use this sauce on -- such good stuff! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Eha said...

Chimichurri sauce has become very popular Down Under during barbecue season and certainly adds a ton of flavour for 'stronger' tasting meats, vegetables and even eggs . . . I do not use 'dips' as many do but would certainly use the combo on flatbreads. Loving coriander as much as I do U may prepare it almost half/half with parsley . . . but, with the amount of garlic I use it probably would not marry well with delicate fish or chicken . . .

Izaa said...

woow looks delicious

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

We just had grilled flank steak with chimichurri on Sunday. Always such a treat. Love your photo of the sauce.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

SO wonderful with grilled beef! Time to whip up a batch!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Eha, we usually do make this half and half parsley/cilantro. Because it's SO good that way. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Izaa, it is. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Lea Ann, it is always a treat, isn't it? Flank steak is our favorite chimichurri "vehicle" too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi LIz, it's always time to whip up a batch! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

Hi John, this is my second attempt to comment. I love chimichurri sauce and will try your recipe.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Gerlinde, sorry you had trouble commenting! Blogger can be a real pain sometimes. Anyway, thanks for your comment.

R's Rue said...

Yum

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi R, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

I think I just learned to delete my cache ( history) from my device . That helps.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Gerlilnde, that's interesting to know! I'll have to suggest that to other people. Thanks for the tip. :-)

Sippity Sup said...

Yes to the sauce (dip) and double yes to that perfectly cooked beef. GREG

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Greg, hard to resist either the sauce or the beef! Thanks for the comment.

HAPPY RETIREES KITCHEN said...

We ate this in Peru and it was incredible. I must make it, yours looks so tantalising. Thanks for a great recipe and the reminder. As always you and Mrs. KR are in fine form.

Jeff the Chef said...

I've had sauces like this in restaurants, but I've never made one at home. It sounds like a great way to use up extra parsley when I've bought a bunch only because I needed a little.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pauline, isn't this good stuff? We love the flavor! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jeff, it IS a great use for that extra parsley we all seem to have. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Food Gal said...

This is one of my favorite sauces. It's good on most any protein or veg. I've heard you can freeze extra sauce, but I haven't tried doing so. I fear it would lose some of its vibrancy that way.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Carolyn, we haven't frozen this either, for exactly that reason. So we just have to find ways to finish it up. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

We love chimichurri sauce (both red and green) and use it on meats but also on salmon. Just an amazing flavor booster.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi David, I've never made red chimichurri -- need to. Love the flavor of the green! Thanks for the comment.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I've never had this type of sauce, but it sounds really good and worth saving the recipe. Thanks

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Judee, it's really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Eva Taylor said...

We haven’t had Chimichurri sauce in a long time, but we do love it. Thanks for the reminder. I have a gorgeous flank steak just screaming for this sauce! Time to update my weekly meal plan!
Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

Valentina said...

I love a good chimichurri and clearly this is one! And I agree that it's fabulous on much more than steak. Although, I devour it on steak, and yours looks perfect. :-) ~Valentina

Ron said...

Hey there John, great recipe. We love Chimichurri sauce, it's wonderful on smoked meats, fish and foul as well as a dip. We make a mint version that goes very well with lamb as well. Take care.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Eva, we love this sauce with flank steak. LOVE it! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Valentina, we love this on steak, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ron, we've never tried this on smoked meats! But we will. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I was in Venezuela the first time I had chimichurri years ago and it has been one of my favorites ever since.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Karen, isn't it good? We love it! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Raymund said...

Hey John loving the new photo style, that shadows are dramatic making that chimichurri sauce stand out. I love that sauce, any grilled steaks cant live without that

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Raymund, shadows can be fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

It's going on 4:00 and I knew opening your blog was going to make me want a cocktail.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Chimichurri Sauce can really put a dish over the top! I dolloped some in Cream of Asparagus soup even!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Inger, we're bad that way. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Inger, great idea to add some to soup! :-) Thanks for the comment.

lea said...

buonissima questa salsa, ottima per accompagnare ed esaltare il gusto di carne e pesce!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Lea, this is so good with either meat or fish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Laura Dembowski said...

I absolutely love chimichurri whether I make it at home or order it out (I mean can you even eat steak without chimichurri???), but I have never added cumin. Can't wait to try it!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Laura, I guess it's legal to have steak without chimichurri, but why would you want to? :-) Thanks for the comment.