A lot of the country has had an early growing season this year. Part of what that means is that herbs are thriving in the garden at my house already.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate my garden into livefire cooking is to take a hint from Argentina and add chimichurri to what I’m cooking. The ingredients are simple, fresh. The addition to a steak, chicken or pork raises the dish a notch or three. This is one of those times that simple means better, and it can all be done with local ingredients, wherever you are.
The ingredients for the chimichurri are:
- Fresh parsley, about a cup
- Fresh oregano, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup
- The juice of 2 limes or up to 1/2 cup of sherry or white balsamic vinegar
- Enough olive oil to blend it all together (up to 1 cup)
- 4 cloves of crushed garlic (more or less to taste)
- 2 chopped up jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed
- Black pepper
- sea salt
The acid from limes or vinegar can be varied to give the chimichurri a different flavor. Pulsing the herbs together in a food processor then adding the liquid results in a bit of a paste, or the herbs can be chopped by hand for a coarser texture. I happen to like it both ways.
After making the chimichurri, I like to marinate the protein to be grilled in it for a couple of hours. In this case, it was a nice, locally raised tri tip.
I heated up the infrared grill to about medium heat, adding pecan wood to the side grates for some wood flavor. The tri tip went on the middle grates, charring nicely, until it reached about 125 degrees F. Once it reached temp, I rested it for about 10 minutes under foil, then sliced against the grain and served with more chimichurri sauce.
The tang and fresh herb flavors go so well with grilled meats that it’s hard to resist this stuff! If you’d not tried it, it takes only a couple minutes to throw together. I bet you’ll make it more than once after you try it! A glass of Malbec goes great with the chimichurri tri tip, too!