Chimichurri Sauce – on Steak, Salmon, Potatoes and Just About Anything Else

chimichurri sauce


That is all I can say.

Chimichurri sauce – where have you been all my life?!!!

The bold, zesty flavours of this sauce make my tongue want to leap out of my mouth and do a kicky Latin salsa dance. It’s like pesto on steroids. I’m not quite sure how such a few simple ingredients come together to create such a sensation, but somehow . . . they do. It’s magic.

And it’s even more magic how this simple but sensational sauce enlivens everything it touches. Chimichurri is originally an Argentinian sauce served with grilled steak (and it does do amazing things for a piece of smokey, juicy red meat) but don’t let yourself stop there from experimenting with this addictive condiment.

It is a wonderful marinade for any cuts of chicken, beef, or even fish. Toss it with steamed new potatoes and you will swoon as you swallow, drizzle it on hard boiled eggs or deviled eggs, or atop a burger. Splosh a little onto a sandwich and spread it around. Mix a spoonful into any salad dressing, or into an egg or tuna salad. Drizzle it over cooked dried beans or swirl a smidge into a bowl of soup. You won’t want to stop adding chimichurri sauce to anything savoury you can think of.

And, definitely, serve it the traditional Argentinian way with steak or any other cut of grilled meat – it’s even good on barbecued sausages. Chicken loves to be slathered in chimichurri sauce, as do grilled shrimps. We had it for dinner tonight dolloped on top of tender barbecued salmon and the chimichurri turned the fish into something absolutely special.

I love this time of year because the garden is overflowing in its bounty. The runner bean teepee is almost filled in, the corn is taller than I am, we’ve been eating our share of new potatoes, peas, beans, zucchini, carrots, beets and lettuce. The herbs are at their peak of abundance. The flat-leaved Italian parsley is robust and green and just begging to be transformed into chimichurri sauce. I love snapping off large handfuls and inhaling deeply of the rich grassy aroma.

Andreas, adding wheelbarrows full of weeds to the compost pile

Andreas, adding wheelbarrows full of weeds to the compost pile

flat leaf parsley

the flat-leaf parsley hiding between the beans and chard

Parsley gives the sauce its vibrant freshness and red wine vinegar adds a zingy kick, but I think it’s the garlic that knocks it into orbit. You’ve gotta love garlic to love this sauce. But since garlic is so healthy – why not enjoy it with a flavour combo like in this chimichurri sauce?

And it’s such a fun word to say. Chimichurri, chimichurri, cha-cha-cha.

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: I haven’t used curly parsley in this sauce because I have much more flat-leaved parsley in my garden – I like its flavour better. I imagine the curly parsley would work too, you’d just have to pack it very tightly to get the right amount to measure it.

If you don’t like much spice, leave out the red pepper flakes, but I think they add just the right amount of zip. The ¼ teaspoon listed is not really enough to make it burningly hot – it just has a slight warmth. If you like more heat, use ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.

When I buy red wine vinegar, I always look for a brand that has 6% acetic acid (rather than 5%) if I can find it – more zip for your buck!

If you’re worried about ‘garlic breath’ – I figure that since eating parsley helps reduce the after-effects of garlic, in this sauce the amount of parsley must just about cancel out any garlic odors – so go for the garlic gusto!

You can use the chimichurri sauce as soon as it’s made, but it’s even better the next day. I recommend making the full amount because it’s easy to find ways to use it up in a week.

chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

adapted from Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night, Bringing your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes by Daisy Martinez

  • 2 cups (500ml) flat-leaved parsley leaves, packed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (60ml) red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup (120ml) olive oil

To measure the parsley, tear the leaves off the stems and pack them semi-firmly into a measuring cup. You will need at least one large bunch of parsley (2 if they are smaller).

parsley off the stems and measured for the chimichurri sauce

Place the parsley leaves, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes into the bowl of a food processor and whiz until the parsley is chopped but still chunky.

ingredients for chimichurri sauce

Add the salt, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Process just until coarsely ground – you don’t want a smooth puree – you still want texture in the sauce.

nice chunky puree for the chimichurri sauce

Scrape into a serving bowl or storage container. Keeps refrigerated for up to a week (if it lasts that long).

Makes about 1¼ cups (300ml) of liquid green gold.

salmon with chimichurri sauce, banana potatoes, yellow beans and grilled zucchini

barbecued salmon with chimichurri sauce, buttered yellow beans, banana potatoes and grilled zucchini – all from the garden (except the fish, of course)

(After this photo was taken, gobs more chimichurri sauce were slathered on the potatoes, too – by yours truly.)

Try this: Toss a bowl full of steamed new potato chunks with a few spoonfuls of chimichurri sauce and you will have a very special dish.

Guten Appetit!

You might also like:

Mexican Burges with Smoky Chipotle Sauce

Grilled Corn on the Cob Slathered with Chipotle Cream

Red Wine Barbecue Sauce

‘Wine and Cheese’ Hamburgers to Celebrate Barbecue Season


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8 Responses to Chimichurri Sauce – on Steak, Salmon, Potatoes and Just About Anything Else

  1. Amy Murnan says:

    I totally agree with you – Chimichurri is THE BEST. So zesty and fresh, right up my street! Oddly enough the first time I ever tried it was on a Domino’s Pizza – surprisingly good (it was a limited edition flavour sadly).
    I’ve been looking around for recipes ever since. Thanks for posting this! Also i’m jealous of your garden – mine is just about big enough for a picnic rug, that’s it.

    • Margaret says:

      YAY! Another chimichurri lover! I think we should have a special chant or secret signal to recognize each other around the world! And pizza? That sounds interesting – gotta try it – makes sense, because pesto’s good on pizza, so chimichurri would be even better.
      Yes, we do love our garden, but unfortunately the weeds are also proportional to it’s size (as you can see by the size of our compost pile!)
      Thanks for visiting!

  2. Vivian says:

    Wow, I have always shied away from this sauce as I figured it was a hot Mexican condiment. I’d love to know how to grow my own fresh garlic in the garden and not have to rely on the “Chinese imported” or the expensive organic Canadian.Does one plant in fall and what kind?

    I must say too, that that shot of your son at the compost pile looks very like out on the Gulf Islands…the dip in the trees revealing what could almost be low hanging clouds over water.



    • Margaret says:

      Chimichurri is more ‘zingy’ than hot – very addictive! I tried growing my own garlic years ago (planted in the fall) but gave up when it didn’t seem to amount to much the next year. My mom has more luck growing it than I do, so I resort to buying it, sadly.
      There was one of our typical summer storms brewing as I took the garden picture and it made the sky look wonderful – all broody and full of great light! I wish that was ocean in the background!

  3. YUMMY! I will try your recipe – I had another and it wasn’t as yummy as I had tasted before

  4. Mary Ann Bennett says:

    Hi Margaret. Stuart and I are having guests who are celiac for dinner on Friday. I thought of your blog yesterday and was touring your recipes this morning looking for ideas. Your description of the chimichurri sauce on grilled steaks or fish makes my mouth water. I think that dish would be great for Friday, even more so considering the hot weather we are experiencing this week. Thanks for the culinary assistance.

    • Margaret says:

      Hi Mary Ann. So nice to hear from you! I think you’ll like the chimichurri sauce – it’s definitely my new summer addiction – I now grow a larger patch of flat leaf parsley every year just so I can make lots of it. And it sure DOES feel like we’re at the height of summer right now, doesn’t it? This hot weather kind of came at us without any time to get used to it! Thanks for visiting my blog, and Happy Spring/Summer to you!

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