There’s a lot to like about chimichurri sauce.
Mostly because there are endless variations of the traditional Argentinian sauce, so there’s a good chance you’ll find a version that you like. The basic recipe has parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. But it’s not unheard of to involve tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, rosemary, thyme and my favorite addition, paprika. The constant in chimichurri for me is the paprika – no matter what herbs are thrown in I must have olive oil, garlic and paprika. I love the deep orange tint and rich, full flavor it gives.
Another excellent rendition is this kalamata olive chimichurri, from Bon Appetit’s 2012 cleanse menu. The salty olives are a perfect foil for the fresh parsley and smokey paprika.
This sauce was intended for a nice piece of grilled beef, which I still plan on using it with, but I also thought I would try it out on some fresh grilled vegetables. To me, the kalamatas are meaty and the paprika is reminiscent of chorizo, so I didn’t even really miss the beef. That said, this makes for a beautiful side to grilled fish, steak, or a seafood paella. You could also serve it over brown rice for a satisfying and colorful meat-free meal.
(adapted slightly from Bon Appetit)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon of red chilli flakes
- 1 bay leaf, broken in half
- 1 medium sized shallot, finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a medium sized skilled over a medium heat. Add garlic, chilli flakes, and the bay leaf and cook for 1 minute.
Add shallots and cook for about 2 minutes, until translucent. Stir in paprika and cayenne and remove from heat. Stir in parsley, olives, vinegar, and a teaspoon or two of water.
You can prepare ahead and let stand at room temperature until you’re ready to use. Add more water in very small amounts if the sauce needs thinning.
For the Grilled Vegetables:
Ideally, I would do this on a BBQ, but I did a quick pan “grill” session, to speed things up.
All you need is a little olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat, season the veggies with some salt and pepper and you’re on you way. I used:
- Red pepper/capsicum, cut into thin strips
- Broccoli florets
- Zucchini, cut into thin strips
Add the vegetables that take the longest to cook to the pan first. I put the red peppers in first, because they take a little while to soften but also because they give off the most aromatic flavor of the bunch. Then in went the broccoli for a minute or two, and the zucchini last. I covered the pan to trap a little steam in there to move things along. All up, my veggies took about 10 minutes total.
Spoon chimichurri over the top to serve.