I’m one of those poor, unfortunate saps who thinks cilantro tastes like soap.
You know what else tastes like soap? Soap.
And I don’t eat soap. Not since I was 8 years old and my momma lived the horror of her daughter discovering the word “shit”.
Clearly though aversion therapy didn’t fucking work because I still cuss like a sailor on a bender in a bar filled with bad whiskey and hot broads.
I am a hot broad, by the way. So I can totally say that.
But yeah. Soap? Doesn’t taste good. Cilantro? Pretty much in the same camp. Bunk beds, wood cabins and campfires included.
Unless you push it up against a few leaves of fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, a little garlic, a good splash of vinegar and a pinch (or 3) of warm spices.
Clearly it’s a cilantro party of sorts up in here. And everyone’s invited.
And let’s be honest: I am a party, animal.
The other day I had the pleasure of attending an election-watching party (bye-bye Harper, we won’t miss you) with a few close friends, a big vat of chili and some plastic red cups filled to the brims with Canadian Spiced Whiskey. When Justin Trudeau – our new Prime Minister – took the stage, we blasted Rod Stewart anthems and shook our groove thangs. Not that we’re all Liberal by habit, but hallelujah, raise the roof, change is a’comin!
….You know you’re over 30 when your parties involve politics, watching television, peasant food and a solid 9:30pm bed time.
But this dish isn’t about Canada. Or politics. Or being over 30. Or soap.
It’s about chimichurri. Which is emphatically Argentinian. And way older than me.
Chimichurri is more or less an Argentine pesto. And we all know how much I like my pesto. Be it kale pesto, arugula pesto, pesto meatballs, or spinach & almond pesto, I slather it on everything from flatbread and pizza to eggs and steak, from roasted veggies and pasta to cheese boards and in soups, and wait for it…….. as a dip for these homemade, super duper crunchy french fries.
You see though, Chimichurri isn’t actually a pesto. I use that term loosely. Like when peeps be callin’ me a “lady”. I ain’t no lady. Woman? Yes. Badass chick? Sure. Hot broad? Absolutely.
The thing is that there’s no nuts involved. In my pants or this recipe. But it’s pretty dang close. In the recipe, I mean. There are absolutely, not even close, any nuts whatsoever in my pants.
Um. Awkward. Moving on…
The best thing about this sauce/condiment/no-nut-love-obsession besides the fact that it’s both a whopping zing of flavour and that it comes together in less than 5 minutes, is that it finds use for the endless amounts of Parsley and Cilantro that show up in the garden during the Summer months. I make butt loads of it as the warmer weather winds down and then freeze it for the Winter.
Nothing says high Summer like fresh-defrosted sunshine in February. You know, except for high Summer.
But hey, we make do with what we got in the colder months, amiright?
Make some chimichurri. Taste the sunshine. Thank me later.
- 1 C flat leaf Italian parsley, non-leafy ends removed
- 1 C cilantro, non-leafy ends removed
- 1/4 C fresh Oregano, leaves only
- 1 Medium sized shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 C red wine vinegar
- 1 Tsp dried chili flakes
- 1/2 Tsp smoked paprika
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
- Combine first 8 ingredients into a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pulse a few times until finely chopped.
- Turn the processor to medium and slowly add the oil until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
- Taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- If you don't have a machine to grind everything up for you, you could chop it all very fine to begin with and then whisk it all together in a non-reactive (metal or glass) bowl.
- Chimichurri will keep covered in the fridge for up to a week.