Chimichurri, Grilled Meat Sauce
Once spring comes around and I’m ready to break out the grill, I crave chimichurri sauce. Its fresh, herby, garlicky flavor is a perfect counterpoint to smokey meats.
When I was growing up, my father traveled and worked all over South America. So, we had family friends from across the region and were fortunate to share their foods.
Argentines and Uruguayans are particularly renowned for their excellent grilled meats, especially beef. Consequently, we children were always excited to receive an invitation to one of their cookouts.
South American barbecues are grand family occasions with music, dancing, and abundant food. One of my favorite taste memories from these parties is the tart freshness of chimichurri hitting my palate along with a morsel of perfectly grilled meat.
You don’t have to be invited to a party to eat chimichurri, though. It takes mere minutes to prepare this tasty sauce with ingredients readily available at your local market.
Origins of Chimichurri
Like pico de gallo, there is plenty of speculation about the origins of chimichurri. Some food scholars believe it is a carbon copy of an Italian seafood sauce, salmoriglio. Others believe the sauce was developed by the gauchos — traditional cowboys from Argentina and Uruguay — to accompany meats from the grill. Still other experts believe the sauce could have Native American origins.
Regardless of your thoughts on chimichurri’s history, it is a delicious condiment. Moreover, it is light, healthy, tasty, and versatile. Thus, it serves as a flavorful marinade, salad dressing, or accompaniment for grilled meats.
Chimichurri is incredibly easy to make at home. If you simply remember to chop the parsley finely and select a high-quality red wine vinegar, success is guaranteed. Best of all, this sauce comes together in mere minutes.
Personally, I love the taste of chimichurri with lamb. However, it is also delicious with:
- sea bass, and
- spicy, oven-baked cauliflower bites
Try it with one of these meats to start. Then, experiment with flavor combinations that appeal to you. Bon appétit!