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This cilantro chimichurri recipe is a fun twist on classic chimichurri recipe. A mix of fresh cilantro and parsley gives this sauce a punch of freshness. You’ll love this cilantro chimichurri!
Authentic chimichurri recipes don’t call for cilantro, but adding fresh cilantro here lightens the taste and takes chimichurri to a new level.
What is chimichurri?
Traditional chimichurri is an uncooked condiment made using finely chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar and spices. It comes in a red or green version. The dominant flavors are garlic and parsley which work wonderfully on grilled steak and a whole lot of other grilled meats.
This fresh chimichurri sauce recipe is a winner at any barbeque and can be put on almost anything. Think salad dressing, meat marinade, drizzled over roast vegetables, brushed over grilled meat or seafood. Get ready to put this on everything!
Chimichurri sauce adds amazing summer flavors to any dish with very little effort. Everything comes together in a food processor and you have an extremely flavorful and delicious sauce ready in minutes. It’s also no cook so it’s perfect for keeping your kitchen cool in the summer.
The cilantro in this recipe lightens the taste and for those who find parsley too strong, this recipe is perfect for you.
Why my chimichurri sauce is bitter?
Chimichurri is loved by many because of it’s distinct blend of flavors and the ingredients used in chimichurri actually give it a slightly bitter taste. But things can always go wrong in the kitchen so here are some tips to help you keep your chimichurri perfectly balanced and fresh.
- Over processing causes bitterness by breaking down the oil and makes your chimichurri mushy. You want to process your cilantro chimichurri just the right amount, enough to get everything well combined but not too much that you have a mushy, bitter chimichurri.
- Another key step in this recipe also helps reduce bitterness. Allowing your chimichurri sauce to sit for an hour and marinade lets the flavour develop. The sharp freshness of the parsley and cilantro need to infuse with the oil and spices to really bring this chimichurri to life. Not only is the flavor more rounded but your chimichurri won’t be overly bitter!
That being said, parsley is naturally bitter so there will be some bitterness from this herb in the chimichurri, which pairs beautifully with fatty cuts of meat. Using the right parsley is also important regarding bitterness and taste so read that below!
Which parsley to use in chimichurri?
Italian flat leaf parsley is the best to use in this chimichurri recipe. You will see this is the case with most chimichurri recipes and there is good reason for it.
Italian flat leaf parsley, compared to a curly leaf parsley, has a punchier flavour and is perfect for this recipe. Curly parsley does also have a slightly more bitter taste than Italian flat leaf parsley so that will also help keep the chimichurri from being bitter.
How long to store chimichurri?
Chimichurri is best if used within 2 – 3 days. It should be stored in a refrigerator in an airtight container. As this recipes uses fresh herbs, they will go off if you keep it for longer. Even though this recipe uses vinegar it doesn’t preserve your chimichurri any longer. But, as it does need to then be used in 2 – 3 days, it a great excuse to eat it all!
The flavor will also develop over those few days and become more robust and infused together. Also, after removing the chimichurri from the refrigerator, make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving. Room temperature chimichurri tastes better and is easier to spread over anything you like.
Can I freeze chimichurri?
Yes! Freezing chimichurri is an amazing kitchen hack! Chimichurri can be stored for up to 3 months by freezing them in ice cubes. This keeps the sauce fresh without it losing any flavor!
Then, when you need some chimichurri, simply defrost the ice cubes and allow the chimichurri to come to room temperature before serving. It is best to use all the chimichurri you defrost at once and not keep it for longer in the refrigerator.
A Must-Try Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 shallot
- 1 jalapeño
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, can substitute ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 cup packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place shallot, jalapeño and garlic in a food processor, and process until finely chopped.
- Add oregano, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Pulse couple more times until blended.
- Then add parsley and cilantro. Process until herbs are chopped into small pieces, but not completely smooth. (TIP: over-processing parsley will make the sauce too bitter.)
- While processor is running, pour in olive oil. (NOTE: Again, don’t run the processor for too long, because the oil will break down too much and the sauce can get overly bitter.)
- Cover and let it marinade for at least an hour. Refrigerate it, if not using right away. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
This article was written by Harry B. for Busy Cooks.