How to Make Your Own Chimichurri
  • September 17, 2018
  • A few weeks ago, I became a first-time herb mom (yes, they are still alive!). Owning (and keeping alive) herbs, along with a recent interview I had about composting and waste prevention, led me to finding new ways and recipes to make use of my tiny balcony garden.

    First, a disclaimer: I’m not a great cook by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t consider myself very creative in the kitchen and I generally buy all my sauces in pre-made bottles that I can stick in the side of my refrigerator and promptly forget about. But – like I said – I’m trying my best. This chimichurri sauce is a nice way to both kick my cooking up a notch (seriously, it makes everything taste fancier) and it helps me utilize my herbs without wasting them, which is a total win/win for me.

    The herbs that I bought in July are not only alive at this point, but they are starting to become a mini jungle that’s slowly taking over my balcony. When registered dietitian Taylor Wolfram suggested making chimichurri, I figured it couldn’t hurt to trim my herbs a bit and try it out – worst case, I thought, it’s a disaster, and I can reclaim my balcony space.

    Chimichurri is a very common Argentinian condiment that can be used as a sauce or a marinade. It’s made with herbs, olive oil and garlic, so it’s fairly mild and has a nice, tangy flavor to it. Chimichurri is also a really fun and impressive word to say out loud, for whatever that’s worth (read: a lot).

    It turns out making chimichurri at home is super delicious and pretty much fool-proof (trust me, I’ve practically tried to mess it up several times to no avail). What I like most about chimichurri is that the herbs I choose to add to it vary, so I am never really measuring or needing specific amounts of any herb to make it work.

    chimichurri

    I also love how versatile it is as a topping. I originally thought chimichurri is only meant to pair with red meat, but I have come to discover it tastes good on just about anything (see: sandwiches, salads, eggs, roasted potatoes, chicken, garlic bread, tacos, etc. – oh, the possibilities!)

    If you have excess herbs, like me, or just want to try your hand at making a simple and delicious DIY sauce, here’s what you’ll need to make chimichurri at home.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of olive oil
    • ~2 cups of herbs
      • I mainly use basil as my main herb (~1 cup or more, because it grows so quickly) and fill in the rest with a variety of the other herbs I have on hand, based almost solely on how much they need to be trimmed down. That’s generally equal parts parsley, rosemary, oregano and sage for the other cup.
      • Many recipes also call for cilantro
      • Traditional chimichurri is generally made with parsley leaves and some oregano, I just happen to have a lot of basil on hand and like the taste!
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • ¼ cup red wine vinegar (I usually just eyeball it and pour some in, again, it’s a very forgiving recipe)
    • Optional (I usually add these if I have them around):
      • ¼ cup or so of onion or shallot
      • A squirt of lemon juice
      • Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:

    Simply put all of the ingredients in a blender (or, for me, a nutribullet) and blend it until it’s nice and smooth. I generally make it before I prep whatever else I plan to eat it with so it has time (~30 minutes or so) to give the flavor some time to sit.

    And voila! Just like that, you can trick your friends into thinking you are a semi-fancy chef with secret kitchen skills.

     

    If you try it yourself, let me know what you think (and what you eat it on! #chimichurrieverything!)

     

     

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    About Cass Gunderson

    Cass hails from the southwest suburbs as a proud White Sox fan and a graduate of University of Illinois. By day, Cass is an associate at ParkerGale, a small private equity firm that buys profitable technology companies. Raised as the youngest in a family of older brothers, Cass grew up a tomboy and remains active in sports. To her mother’s satisfaction, Cass learned how to embrace her feminine side in college and has developed an interest for fitness activities that require spandex as opposed to knee-length basketball shorts. In her spare time, she runs a lot (sometimes for hours and hours) because it is cheaper than paying for real therapy. The rest of her spare time is spent convincing herself that pizza and donuts can be part of a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. Cass completed her fifth marathon in 2016 and got tired of the distance, so she found an ultra-marathon to do instead. She can still be found on the basketball courts in Lincoln Park wearing knee-length basketball shorts.