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Chimichurri? JimmyCurry? CarolChurri?

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

I’m all for authentic. I’d rather not own a designer handbag than buy a fake.

It’s my humble opinion that Oreos should only be chocolate wafers with white cream filling. That's an authentic Oreo. A vanilla Oreo with white cream is called a Vienna Finger. Pumpkin spice Oreo…GTFO…

Don’t even try to serve me anything other than authentic Heinz Ketchup…. I ain’t havin’ it. I’ll dip fries in mayo before I would even consider an off brand. Blasphemy!!

And don’t get me started with the new name for that stadium on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. It has and always will be Heinz Field.

No substitutions, please.

But when it comes to authentic recipes for food, why not put your own spin on it?

In fact, that’s how “family recipes” are developed.

“My Gram used __________ in the recipe.”

“In my family, we use ___________.”

Recipes change for several reasons. Maybe someone omitted an ingredient out of pure distain. Or they forgot. They 86ed the ingredient because it simply wasn’t available.

This chimichurri recipe below is due to an abundance of fresh herbs that needed to be harvested. It is not authentic. It can be altered. You can 86 any of the herbs. You cannot however, 86 anything else. It won’t be “authentic”, and it won’t be chimichurri.

Are you still wondering what in the world is chimichurri? Hey, I’m glad you asked!

This ubiquitous “condiment” is found in Uruguayan and Argentinian cuisine. It accompanies and blends harmoniously with the flavors of any meat, but especially well with beef.

Chimichurri tastes refreshing and grassy, but then it reveals a lingering spiciness and pungency from the garlic and chiles--a richness from the oil, tanginess from the vinegar.

According to the BBC, there are various legends about the birth of chimichurri and its name, with the most famous claiming that it was 19th-Century Irish immigrant James (Jimmy) McCurry, who, longing for Worcestershire (worce-ster-shire) sauce – a popular condiment in the UK and Ireland that's made of vinegar, molasses, garlic, anchovies and other ingredients – decided to create another flavorsome condiment with local ingredients. Supposedly, the sauce took his name "Jimmy McCurry", which became "chimichurri" with Argentinian pronunciation.

Others believe the name "chimichurri" came about in the early 1800s during the failed British invasion when captive British soldiers asked for condiments by saying, "give me the curry", which Argentines translated into "chimichurri". Still another story alleges that the sauce arrived in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries with Basque migrants, who with their millenary wood-fired grilling culture brought along tximitxurri (pronounced "cheemeechooree"), a Basque-style herb sauce that typically includes herbs, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and Espelette pepper.

And though many Argentines would proudly claim that it was their own grandmother who invented the sauce, some say that its roots go back to before Christopher Columbus came to the Americas in 1492. According to Daniel Balmaceda, an Argentinian historian and author, the word "chimichurri" comes from the Quechua, an Indigenous population who have lived in the Andean region of northern Argentina since well before the arrival of Europeans. "It was a generic term used to describe strong sauces to accompany and conserve different kinds of meat," Balmaceda said.

Serve it alongside grilled steak or pork chops, roasted chicken, poached salmon or sauteed shrimp. Drizzle it over grilled tofu, vegetable kebabs or oven-roasted vegetables. Use it as a salad dressing for greens or stir it into cooked, cooled grains for an easy grain salad.

I have been eating more plant-based meals this summer with the occasional shellfish/ fish. I drizzled the chimichurri over grilled portobello mushrooms. My son Enrico had a little ribeye with his chimichurri. Like a good Italian boy, Enrico wiped up every drip of the chimichurri with a thick piece of crusty bread. It's delicious on grilled or soft bread as well. Honestly, the possibilities are endless.

Cooking Class with Carol

Things to Consider

There are five main ingredients of chimichurri

  • oil

  • red wine vinegar

  • parsley

  • dried oregano

  • garlic

These are essential ingredients that should not be discarded from the recipe.

Don't be afraid to add other herbs to the condiment.

I will use a few additional herbs, like basil, thyme, and Thai basil because I had them available.

Basil as a tendency to oxidize quickly. That means it will turn black once it's cut with a metal knife (Ever see people tearing basil to put into sauce? that's why-- it won't blacken if you use your hands). Because of the heat from the blade of the food processor, the basil could oxidize and turn dark, lending to a darker chimichurri. It will still be just as delicious, just not as visually appealing. Add the vinegar to the mixture as soon as you are done mincing it. It should help to stop the oxidation and retain a more verdant (green) color.

Don't be afraid to experiment. You may come up with your own version of your chimichurri.

Because of the red wine vinegar, the chimichurri can stay out of the refrigerator in an airtight container (on the counter) for 7 days. It will last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

If in the frig, the oil will congeal, and the condiment will look cloudy. Don't be alarmed. Allow it to come to room temperature and the cloudiness will go away. Also, the refrigeration will dull the heat of the chilies.


Authentic Chimichurri

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

½ cup parsley, leaves only

4 cloves garlic

2 small dried red chilies (about 1 tablespoon finely chopped chili)

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

1 level teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon pepper (to taste)


add all above ingredients plus additional herbs to your liking **

1 medium shallot (1/3 small onion)

What to Do

(If you truly want to be authentic, a mortar and pestle should be used)

1. In a food processor fitted with the large blade, add all of the garlic, chilies salt and pepper. (onion) Pulse until minced.

2. add all fresh herbs**

pulse until minced

immediately add the red wine vinegar

3. remove from food processor to a bowl. Add the oregano. Place in your hands and rub your hands together to release the flavor of the oregano

4. add oil

5. mix well

6. transfer to airtight glass jar fitted with lid.

**adding more herbs, like basil, cilantro, thyme, Thai basil, etc. you will have to increase all of the ingredients. For every 1/2 cup of fresh herbs, increase the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and chilies. salt and pepper to taste.

Oil and vinegar should cover all of the herbs by at least 1/8 inch to ensure the herbs to not spoil. If you notice the herbs are try after you use some of the condiments, add additional oil/vinegar mixture to cover the herbs.

Because of the red wine vinegar, the chimichurri can stay out of the refrigerator in an airtight container (on the counter) for 7 days. It will last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.


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1 Comment

mark singo
mark singo
Aug 31, 2022

Always 💕 the history and backstory on your posts!! I always liked adding seeded serrano Chiles and green onions, brings a little more heat..thanks for the great recipe!! Goes well on grilled vegetables,also..

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