Chimichurri is a popular South American sauce that generally accompanies meat. Basic chimichurri is similar to pesto in color and consistency, but the main ingredient is parsley rather than basil. Chimichurri sauce may be used as a marinade, sauce or condiment.
To make a basic chimichurri, finely chop 1 cup of fresh, flat leaf parsley, and place it in a small bowl. Then, chop 3 to 4 cloves of garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano to add to the parsley. Alternatively, substitute 2 teaspoons of dried oregano for the fresh herbs. Stir in 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and then add salt and pepper to taste before serving immediately or refrigerating. If chilled, bring the sauce to room temperature before serving.
Many variations exist on the basic chimichurri recipe, which is easy to adapt to personal preferences or the flavor profile of a specific dish. Some recipes include cilantro along with the parsley and oregano, while others add ingredients such as capers and red onions. Some make a red version of chimichurri sauce with tomatoes or roasted red peppers. Chimichurri may also serve as a marinade before grilling meat or as a condiment for a main course.