I first had chimichurri sauce in a Brazilian barbecue restaurant called Bolero in Calgary. If you’ve never had Brazilian barbecue, now’s the time to start! I love all the different cuts of barbecued meat with very little in the way of sauce or seasoning (that’s where the chimichurri comes in)! Now… I’m a sauce girl all the way, but if you go to a really good Brazilian barbecue restaurant, they showcase the quality of their meat and it tastes amazing without added flavor!
I love the entire meal experience that starts out with those little cheese buns, moves on to the grilled meat and chimimchurri, with some grilled veggies sprinkled with parmesan, and ends with as much cinnamon glazed grilled pineapple as one person can possibly eat! Actually if we’re being objective, I probably eat enough grilled pineapple for half the restaurant – it’s that good!
Anyways, back to the subject of chimichurri. It will be my first Brazilian (or in this case Mexican) recipe this summer, and I’ll be working my way through a typical barbecue meal over the next few months! So… why Mexican chimichuri of all things? Well, because I love cilantro more than the traditional parsley – it’s as simple as that! A traditional chimichurri is stirred together with the oil and vinegar sometimes separating only to be stirred back together. While you can make this version that way too, I like to throw all my ingredients in the blender and blend until it becomes creamy, but with plenty of texture left from the cilantro – you don’t want a completely smooth sauce. This method has my sauce ready in just minutes because it eliminates most of the chopping.
Chop the onion into a small dice and combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on low to combine – you want the sauce to have plenty of texture, it’s not supposed to be smooth. If you want to stay traditional, you can hand chop all the ingredients and stir them together.
What to do with chimichurri?
1) anything grilled, particularly beef and salmon
2) use it as a salad dressing
3) stir it into mashed avocado for a really good dip
4) drizzle it over roasted sweet potatoes
5) use it as a marinade rather than a sauce
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, (a small amount of stems is ok)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup onion, small dice
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- optional ¼ Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- or 1-2 Teaspoons minced jalapeno for Mexican spice
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on low until combined and creamy looking.
- Be sure to leave plenty of texture in the sauce, it's not supposed to be smooth.
- For the traditional method, you can mince the onion very fine and stir together all the ingredients in a serving bowl - this way isn't quite as fast and it doesn't turn out creamy but either way is equally delicious!
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