“A delicious steak packed with flavor, but light on calories.”
I love things that have more than one purpose. It’s like that old jar that makes a perfect vase or that clothespin that holds your recipe in your cookbook. The same kind of joy can be found in discoveries of the culinary nature. Take for instance the Argentinian sauce known as Chimichurri. It’s a simple sauce made of oil, parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar and touch of heat from crushed red pepper. Simple, but its simplicity is what makes it so delicious… and versatile.
Chimichurri is a staple condiment in Argentinian kitchens and is typically served alongside grilled meats. While it’s delicious served this way, chimichurri has many other interesting applications. For instance, it makes a great marinade for beef, chicken, shrimp and tofu. It makes a fantastic salad dressing for greens or for a mixture of black beans, grilled corn, sweet bell peppers and fresh tomatoes. It can be added to Greek yogurt to make a spread for sandwiches or served as a dipping sauce with fresh vegetables and crusty bread.
Chimichurri can also be constructed to fit just about anyone’s taste. You can add and subtract ingredients without much fuss. If you don’t like a lot of spice, leave out the peppers. Not a fan of oregano? Swap it out with cilantro. Experiment and adjust the recipe to make it work for you and your family.
The other bonus to this versatile sauce? It adds flavor, but not loads of calories. And when used as a marinade, it can add tenderness to lean cuts of meat and poultry.
Food Safety Tip: Store marinating meat in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf, preferably in a container, away from fresh produce or ready-to-eat foods to avoid dripping and cross-contamination. Never marinate on the container. Discard any leftover marinade and use separate utensils for raw and cooked meat.
- 1 packed cup flat-leaf parsley, washed
- 1 packed cup cilantro, washed
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 small or 1/2 of large jalapeño, washed, seeded with membrane removed, quartered
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound skirt steak
- Place the parsley, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and red wine vinegar in a food processor or blender. Pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl or blender occasionally until finely chopped.
- With the motor running, slowly stream in the olive oil and process until blended. Transfer mixture to a resealable plastic bag.
- Place the steak in the bag and pour in a 1/2 cup of the chimichurri. Seal the bag, releasing any extra air, then turn the bag to coat the steak with marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Twenty minutes before grilling, remove the steak from the refrigerator.
- Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium high heat.
- While the grill is preheating, remove the steaks from the marinade, brushing off any excess. Discard the marinade. Season the steaks with salt and pepper.
- Once the grill is ready, add the steak. Grill until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Use a food thermometer to ensure internal temperature reaches 145°F.
- Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes.
- Thinly slice the steak against the grain and serve it drizzled with the remaining chimichurri, if desired.
- Note: This recipe makes 3/4 cup chimichurri sauce.