No-worry chimichurri sauce
Let's say your mom, brother and his beautiful teenage daughter are visiting from San Diego and you decide to spend the day touring college campuses to fill her head full of aspirations as she enters high school in the fall. And let's say you're on day five of two different sets of out-of-town company back-to-back, you've been working and I haven't had time to plan much in the way of meals, which is embarrassing if you're a chef. Night falls, you're pooped, out of time, but want to create a memorable family meal before they head back to San Diego in the morning. You need something fast and fun that you can all to make together. What do you do? (Dun, dun, duuuuuunnnnnn). Well here's a menu idea that incorporates one of my favorite summer saucy saviors that can make an ordinary vegan meal extraordinary:
- Grilled Field Roast Italian, grain-based sausages in fluffy toasted roll with grilled onions, lots of mustard and a dill pickle slice
- grilled corn on the cob with my No-Worry Chimichurri sauce (recipe below)
- a fresh green salad with grilled nectarines, toasted hazelnuts and a light, white balsamic vinaigrette
- and if not too stuffed, maybe a little coconut ice cream with a drizzle of my strawberry date puree (recipe to come).
This traditional South American condiment is the ultimate summer accompaniment. I call it No- Worry Chimichurri because I never sweat about how it’s going to come out, even when I’m just eye-balling measurements. You can dial the "kick" up or down by playing with the garlic, chili, lemon and cumin, and it’s always fierce and delicious. Oh, I’ve flirted with other recipes, some calling for flat-leaf parsley, veggie broth and other chilies and spices; some not much more than four ingredients. I perfected this recipe earlier this summer, and haven't been without it on hand for very long ever since.
1 c. packed fresh curly-leaf parsley
1⁄2 c. packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 whole peeled medium garlic cloves, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or jalapeno to taste)
1⁄2 c. good extra virgin olive oil (being in California, I like California brands. Less shipping. Great taste.)
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon or more to taste
1 tsp. kosher salt
To make the sauce, slam everything into a small food processor or blender and pulse until well combined and drizzle-able. Let sit for 20 minutes to allow all flavors to get acquainted. It’s okay if it’s a little chunky as long as it’s emollient enough to pour or spoon over your dish. The consistency is yours to play with. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Try this sauce drizzled on: