Cilantro Chimichurri – flavor packed, green and oh so good with everything!This fresh and herby sauce is a great accompaniment to everything from grilled meat to roasted veggies. In South America, they use this pesto-like sauce as a marinade for grilling.
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What is Chimichurri?
Chimichurri is a South American grilling sauce. This has its origins in Argentina and Uruguay.. Strangely enough, there is the Dominican Chimi burger or the Dominican Chimichurri Burger which in no way is connected to this sauce. I dug deep into the internet and still found nothing about this.
Coming to the sauce, this is traditionally made with fresh parsley, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and red wine vinegar. This is a loose oil based condiment, much like the Indian style pickles. Even though it is compared to pesto because we use herbs, the chilli churri is not pasty like the pesto.
Over the years when the Chimi began to trend on the internet, several variations have come up. Variations featuring different combination of herbs and the red chimichurri are the most common.
Since my family loves Cilantro ( clearly, the Indian roots speaking here), I made a Chimichurri sauce with cilantro. Cilantro is also called coriander in the UK and in some Asian countries. We will be using fresh cilantro, parsley, red pepper flakes and lemon juice among other things.
No matter what you do, try to use fresh, green bunches of herbs possible for this sauce. The herbs are the star here.
This cilantro parsley chimichurri can be used in so many ways. This sauce that has become a prominent American restaurant menu item is great with chicken, fish and steak. For vegans, add it to your cauliflower bowls, Buddha bowls or slather it on tofu and grill it.
Make cilantro chimichurri marinade for fish or meats. Or how about a spicy cilantro chimichurri roasted veggies bowl? In our house, we even eat this as a dip with Moong Dal Cheela or slather it on bread to make some mean sandwiches. Better yet, name your Sandwich Chimichurris because why should burgers have all the Chimi privilege?
- Use fresh sweet basil instead of cilantro for a chimichurri without cilantro.
- Or use a combination of mint, cilantro and parsley for mint chimichurri sauce.
- Make it spicy by adding Korean chili threads.
- Change up the heat by adding freshly cracked black pepper instead of the red pepper flakes.
- Use extra virgin olive oil for the best chimichurri.
- A food processor gives the best results when it comes to blending this sauce. The oil has to be poured while the processor is running. And for this, a food processor works best. A regular blender may not work just as well because the herbs must not be blended to a fine paste. For this reason, a blender does not work well. I tried making this sauce with both the processor and the blender. And I found that the processor version had better texture and flavor.
- You can also use a Mezzaluna to chop your herbs, shallot and garlic very finely and then mix the finely chopped herbs with the remaining ingredients to make this sauce. But yes, this is super labour-intensive.
- While grinding the herbs, do not make it into a fine paste. Unlike pesto, the herbs here are not ground to a paste. Instead we shred them as finely as possible.
- This chimichurri sauce recipe yields about 1.5 cups. You can easily double the ingredients in a pinch.
Gather all your ingredients together. First, wash and dry your herbs. Using a salad spinner is a fantastic way to dry the herbs. It is very important to dry the herbs thoroughly. When there is moisture, there is molding and fungal growth.
Once you are done with drying, this quick chimichurri sauce comes together in less than 5 minutes. To your processor, add the parsley, dried oregano, cilantro, shallot, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt. Now, pulse this a few times to shred the mixture.
When the herbs etc have been shredded, with the food processor running on slow speed, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Once you have added all the olive oil, stop the processor. Now, pulse the mixture twice or thrice.
That is all. Our Chimichurri cilantro sauce is now ready. Transfer this to a sterilised air tight glass jar.
How to store?
Any sauce that has some sort of acidic ingredient can be stored easily. If your sauces have vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice, they tend to last a while in the fridge. But to store them correctly, you have to use a sterilised airtight glass jar . Make sure to use a clean dry spoon whenever you handle the sauce.
You can store this sauce in the fridge for upto 2 weeks. Just be sure to sterilise the jars used for storing.
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Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce
- food processor
- salad spinner
- 100 grams fresh cilantro measures 1 tightly packed cup when chopped
- 70 grams fresh parsley measures ½ a tightly packed cup when chopped
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 small shallots peeled
- 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1.5 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
- ½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Gather all your ingredients together.
- First, wash and dry your herbs.
- Use a salad spinner to dry the herbs.
- It is very important to dry the herbs thoroughly. This helps prevent molding and increases the shelf life of the sauce.
- To your processor, add the parsley, dried oregano, cilantro, shallot, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt.
- Now, pulse this a few times to shred the mixture.
- When the herbs etc have been shredded, with the food processor running on slow speed, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil.
- Once you have added all the olive oil, stop the processor.
- Now, pulse the mixture twice or thrice.
- Our Chimichurri cilantro sauce is now ready.
- Transfer this to a sterilised air tight glass jar.