Chimichurri: Breakfast Spread, Marinade, Sauce

Chimichurri: the bright, vibrant, verdant sauce from Argentina. This herb-packed condiment is synonymous with gauchos, the pampas, and above all, red meat. Most often it is served alongside a beautifully aged steak, grilled to a perfect medium rare, the acidic and fresh sauce contrasting the meat, enhancing its age and sweetness. It is to Argentinean beef as ketchup is to French fries.

Food historians tend to agree that it was invented in the fields by Argentinean gauchos, or cowboys, to accompany their flame-cooked meat.  It is speculated that they may have used dried herbs; the original sauce may have resembled the consistency of present-day mint sauce.

The flavours inherently make sense, but they ostensibly come form the rich and diverse influences that impacted Argentina’s cuisine – Spanish, Italian, French and English. Having a large Basque community, the name ‘chimichurri’ is speculated to have come from the Basque word ‘tximitxurri’, which translates to ‘a mixture of several things in no particular order.’

Here, instead of the typical serving style, we extend the legs of this easy-to-make sauce to the realm of breakfast. Serve this at your next brunch to elevate and diversify your menu and bridge the gap between breakfast and dinner. This sauce is perfect when smeared over toast or dolloped on fried or scrambled eggs. The vinegar present in the sauce and vague hint of anise from the cilantro and oregano are reminiscent of the flavour combination present in the ubiquitous brunch favrouite eggs benedict – but without the inherent calories.

This sauce is a cinch to make and can be used in any meal of the day, from breakfast with eggs, as a spread in a sandwich or panini, or served traditionally as a marinade or dip for grilled meat or seafood.

Ingredients

1 cup of flat leaf parsley

¾ cups of cilantro

2 tablespoons of fresh oregano

1 small shallot, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 small red chili pepper, veined, seeded and roughly chopped

½ cup of good quality olive oil

¼ cup of red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a food processor, combine the shallot, garlic, chili pepper, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Blend until combined and a chunky paste is formed.

Next, incorporate the herbs and salt and pepper and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped, but not a paste.

If the mixture is too thick, add a bit more olive oil.

Camille Llosa
Camille Llosa is a freelance writer and editor who is food-obsessed. She holds a degree in Print Journalism from Sheridan College and her work focuses on finding the connections between our everyday common experiences and how they can impact our life, wellbeing, perception, and purpose.

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