Take any parsley or cilantro bunches you’re using, twist off the bottom half of the stems and discard into the compost. Then wash the remainder very well (cilantro in particular tends to hold dirt) by swishing and lifting out of a bowl of clean water, three times. Wash mint then pull leaves off and discard stems.
Shake or spin dry the herbs and put most of them (maybe 3/4) into the food processor.
Add the lime juice and some salt. Note that the amounts given here are approximations. Bunches vary in size and so do limes. Each of them vary by water vs flavor. There is just no way to know exactly how much lime juice or seasoning you’ll need. So start with 3 limes and add 1 or 2 more if needed after you taste. Start your salt amounts on the low side too.
I like a tablespoon or so of cumin (the seeds are best but powder is good too) and some mild heat. Sometimes I use chipotle powder, other times I use chili flakes. All depends what I’m in the mood for and what’s on hand. If you want garlic, use fresh peeled cloves. Rough chopping will help your processor out but is optional if you have a good one. I’d use 2-6 cloves in this recipe, depending on how much you like garlic.
Process until smooth and taste. Adjust lime juice, salt, and seasonings. Repeat until it’s perfect.
Now, drizzle in the olive oil and process lightly. Use more or less if you wish.
Finally, add the leftover herbs and pulse the processor so they are well chopped but still have texture. If you’re using a processor that can’t do this well, or you are using a blender, then do the chopping by hand and add the minced herbs at the end.
Black Bean & Lentil Salad
Cook beans in fresh water until soft but holding their shape. You may substitute 4 cups cooked beans.
Cook lentils separately from the beans in fresh water until soft but not mushy.
Chop vegetables and add to the drained beans and lentils. You may substitute fresh sweet (or medium heat) peppers for the cucumber and tomato.
Add the chimichurri sauce. Mix and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.