I first encountered Chimichurri at my aunt Carol and uncle Juan's house. We visit yearly when we are returning from vacation, and each time we go there she serves up something fabulous for lunch. One year she and my Uncle were grilling chicken and sausages for sandwiches. Aunt Carol pulled this sauce from her refrigerator almost as an afterthought and my cousins began pouring it on their sandwiches. My sister Kathy and I shrugged and added it to ours. In my memory, I distinctly recall Kathy's eyes getting big and round. I swear I heard nothing but heaven's choir singing. My love! My Chimichurri! Where have you been all my life? We haven't parted since and my bottle of Chimichurri is always near in my refrigerator awaiting it's pairing with chicken or steak.
This is my own version of Aunt Carol's recipe. The sauce keeps for several months in the refrigerator. The olive oil will solidify with the cold, but a bit of time at room temperature will bring everything back to normal.
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
Combine all seasonings, herbs, onions and garlic in a heat-proof bowl. Heat olive oil in microwave until hot, but not boiling and pour over seasonings in bowl. Set aside to give time for the seasonings to infuse flavor into the oil - about 30 minutes. Heat vinegar and water to a boil and pour into bowl and allow to steep for 2 or 3 hours. When cool, pour into a bottle and serve.
Chimichurri can be served as is over grilled or roasted meats. It can also be used as a marinade by combining 1/4 cup of Chimichurri with about 1/2 cup of vinegar.
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