I had chimichurri for the first time about four or five years ago at a restaurant in Cincinnati called Che. It's an Argentinean restaurant that has AMAZING empanadas. I was instantly hooked on the bright, tangy, herbaceous sauce, and I've been making it myself every since.
Chimichurri is normally made with parsley as the main herb, but I love me some cilantro, so I decided to switch things up and make a cilantro chimichurri that will knock your socks off.
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Reasons To Make This Recipe
- It's super quick and easy to throw together
- It goes with everything - meat, poultry, fish, veggies, and eggs!
- It can be easily adapted to suit your tastes - if cilantro isn't your thing, just use all parsley.
- It lasts for a long time in the fridge.
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
How to Freeze Chimichurri
Cilantro Chimichurri freezes reasonably well, as long as you follow some guidelines. Because cilantro is a delicate herb, you have to be careful with it. To freeze:
Spoon the sauce into an ice cube tray, and then freeze. Once frozen, place the cube in a freezer safe baggie, and store for up to three months.
To defrost, you need to be gentle, and not use any heat, which will destroy the herbs. Place the cubes in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the fridge overnight, and let it thaw slowly. Let the bowl sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks
Don't be afraid to use the cilantro stems. They're tender, and have a great flavor. They'll work really well in the sauce.
Start by only adding 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. You can always add more, but you can't take it away if there's too much.
Chimichurri is a great option to use as a salad dressing or as a sauce for a hearty grain bowl.
Can I make this without a food processor? Of course! You can chop all the herbs by hand, and make a chunkier, more rustic sauce that will still be delicious!!
What's the difference between chimichurri and pesto? Pesto is a rich sauce that gets its flavoring from cheese, pine nuts, and basil. Chimichurri is a brighter, more vinegar based sauce. They're both delicious!
How long does chimichurri last? If stored properly in an air-tight container, the sauce should last 10-14 days in the fridge.
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Easy Cilantro Chimichurri
- Food Processor
- 1 cup of firmly packed cilantro – you don’t need to remove the leaves – cilantro stems are tender and delicious and can be added to the chimichurri.
- ¼ cup of firmly packed parsley leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes*
- Place the cilantro, parsley, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until the herbs are pretty finely chopped.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper, and pulse one or two more times to combine. Taste the sauce and add the 3rd tablespoon of vinegar if needed, as well as extra salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve the chimichurri at room temperature.
- You can add extra red pepper flakes if you like things spicy
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop all the herbs and garlic by hand to make the sauce – it will just take longer. It will also give the sauce a nice rustic feel, which is fun!
- Chimichurri will last for about a week in an air-tight container in the fridge
- To freeze, spoon the sauce into an ice cube tray, and freeze. Remove the cubes from the tray and place in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, let the cubes sit in a bowl, covered, overnight in the fridge. Don’t use heat to thaw – it will destroy the herbs.