Originating from Argentina, chimichurri is a bright, uncooked sauce typically made with buttery olive oil, sharp red wine vinegar, an impressive amount of tender, grassy herbs, pungent grated garlic, and some chile pepper for floral heat. I always make chimichurri whenever I need to make something fresh, almost bracing to accompany a charred, roasty protein or vegetable. Think: grilled steaks, pan-seared pork chops, charred carrots, smashed potatoes, crisp-skinned roast chicken, and buttery fish. (And, it's happy to play double-duty as a marinade: let your protein—whether steak, fish, pork, tofu, poultry—bathe for at least 30 minutes before cooking to drink in all that goodness, and gild the proverbial lily with more sauce spooned at the table.)
Some people turn their nose up at the idea of preparing this chopped sauce in a food processor, but as long as the herbs get blitzed quickly and barely at all (in other words—pulse, don’t blend), I say why not? Though, if you don’t have a food processor, and do have a great podcast on (and time to kill)—do feel free to mince by hand.
While dried oregano and red chili do make for decent substitutes, the more fresh components you use, the more, well, fresh your final product will taste. No red wine vinegar? No problem: try white wine, apple cider, rice vinegar, or sherry—all make for deliciously zippy sauces. Use the below ratio of salt, acid, spice, and oil as a mere starting point; adjust to your liking. —Catherine Yoo