While it has been a long time since I used most of the lessons I learned about cooking from my uber cool Frenchy cooking school (a short, but fun, chapter). I can say, however, that the French have many things right, and one of the things that they absolutely have right is that to have a bountiful supply of delectable meals, knowing how to make a few sauces is really helpful. You get the techniques for cooking the bits; you learn how to make the sauces, and then you play around with mixing the bits with the sauces. Voila. Thankfully, one doesn’t need to limit the sauce selections to hollandaise and beurre blanc. My favorite sauce experiment in recent times is a lovely, and super herbaceous, chimichurri.
Chimichurri is a relative of pesto in its herbiness, but has a little heat to it, and is traditionally married with beef in Argentinian cuisine. But just like any other sauce, to limit chimichurri to its traditional partner would be to miss out on a whole world of yum. When chimichurri crossed my mind (is it weird that this happens to me… going along, doing things one does.. and then bam, chimichurri on the brain), I immediately sought out a recipe and began to imagine what I would do with it. When I surveyed the recipes I found I smelled a problem for my little family – that jalapeño. I quickly decided to make a gentler version, figuring that a less robust partner than steak might make this wise anyway (and you all know I was trying to appease Ms. Picky Pants as I am a relentless masochist). And so, without even more ado, I’ll share with you the tasty sauce that’s lighting up my life at the moment.
Kinder, Gentler Chimichurri – borrowed and slightly modified from Saveur’s chimichurri
- 1 c parsley leaves
- 3/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 c fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 c red wine vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/4 poblano pepper
- 1.5 t salt and 1/2 t pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 c olive oil
And here’s my favorite part of the recipe. Put everything but the olive oil into a food processor or blender. Drizzle the olive oil in while the machine is on. My food processor has a little removable do-dad on the top that allows for such drizzling. Did I mention I LOVE this food processor? I do, I really, really do. I digress. Process until it’s incorporated but still a little bit herb chunky. THAT IS IT! Now, what to do with it? You can go traditional and put it on some cow, but why not live a little? I put chimichurri on everything. I put it on sandwiches. i put it on roasted potatoes. I put it on leftovers that were kind of bland. I put it on EVERYTHING. Most importantly, however, I put it on a cauliflower steak. Yes, a cauliflower steak (left off the tomato bits) And it was divine! Super delish and just right for some al fresco dining in back with the little people, who both loved it (at least this time).