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Author Notes: Chimichurri is my mother's dinner-party secret weapon. She makes it year round and serves it with everything from whole roasted beef tenderloin to pan-seared arctic char to grilled chicken thighs — this sauce is good on everything. Pictured above, the sauce is drizzled over fish, sautéed chickpeas, and bread.
To make the chickpeas, simply heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooked chickpeas or drained, rinsed and dried canned chickpeas, and cook until they begin to turn golden, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, about 5 minutes or so. Drizzle with chimichurri. Rice, barley, farro—anything would be good with this chimichurri.
If you want to skip the pan-roasting, you could follow the broiling method in this post, which also calls for briefly marinating the arctic char in some fresh citrus and honey, which would be nice here, too: Broiled Lemon-Honey Arctic Char with Citrus Sauce —Alexandra Stafford
cup finely minced shallots
pinch kosher salt
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
cup freshly squeezed lemon, lime or a combination of the two juices, plus more wedges for serving
cup olive oil plus more for coating the fish
cup finely minced cilantro, parsley or a combination of the two
4- to 5-oz filets arctic char
freshly cracked pepper
bread, chickpeas or both for serving
- Set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 550ºF. Place the shallots in a small bowl. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper flakes to taste. Cover with the juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the herbs and olive oil — the sauce should not be emulsified. Taste. Adjust with more salt, pepper, citrus, as needed.
- Meanwhile, set a cast iron skillet over hight heat. Pat the filets of char dry well with paper towels. Rub each filet on all sides lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. If your skillet is well seasoned, there's no need to add oil to it. If it's not, pour in a small amount of neutral oil—grapeseed is great—and swirl to coat, then immediately lower the filets into the pan.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until fish is just barely cooked through—it's OK if it's a little pink still. Remove pan from oven, transfer filets to serving platter or plates. Spoon sauce over top. Pass more sauce on the side along with citrus wedges, bread, and whatever else you decide to serve.