Chimichurri is a marinade and dipping sauce that originated in Argentina, and is so popular there that in most homes and restaurants you'll find a jar of it sitting on the table along with the salt and pepper. This slightly spicy sauce is made of easily obtainable herbs – parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme, and garlic - along with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. It is great as a dipping sauce for grilled steaks, or brushed over hamburgers as they are grilling. I especially like to use it as a marinade for pork tenderloin (pictured) or boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
To help save time, this sauce/marinade can be made up to two weeks ahead and refrigerated, or it can even be frozen for several months. Sometimes I pour it over chicken or pork in a Ziploc bag, then put the bag in the freezer for a future meal; I can take it out of the freezer in the morning and let it sit on the counter. While the contents are thawing, the meat or chicken will also marinate and be ready for grilling when I return home from work.
If you’re tired of the mundane prepackaged marinades that line the grocer’s shelves (full of preservatives, processed ingredients, and who knows what), why not try making this great sauce. Pour it over your favorite meat or poultry to marinate, or just brush it over whatever you’re grilling and serve the grilled entrée with extra sauce on the side for dipping. If using Chimichurri as a marinade, make sure you pour the marinade off and discard; use fresh sauce for dipping and brushing.
1 cup packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon crushed chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally.
- Let stand at room temperature for a couple of hours to allow flavors to blend.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for longer storage.
- Chimichurri can be used either as a dipping sauce or as a marinade.
- If using as a marinade, pour over any meat, poultry, or fish and allow to marinate 4-8 hours (1-2 hours for fish), then grill.