Each country in Latin America has a national salsa, or sauce. In Argentina, it’s chimichurri (chih-mee-CHOO-ree).
Chimichurri sauce is made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, white or red vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Oregano can be added. Cilantro can replace parsley in some regions; vegetable oil can replace the olive oil.
The original sauce is green from the parsley; later red versions add tomatoes, red bell peppers and/or hot chiles.
In beef-endowed Argentina, chimichurri is the steak sauce of choice, also used with other beef-based dishes and any grilled meats.
A recipe for chimichurri sauce follows and the recipe after that. Also see below:
The many ways to use chimichurri sauce.
As one story goes, the name evolved from “Jimmy McCurry,” an Irishman who developed the recipe in Argentina. However, there is no written documentation of this.
Purportedly, McCurry was sympathetic to the cause of Argentine independence in the 19th century and served in a troop under the command of General Jasson Ospina. The sauce was popular but “Jimmy McCurry” was difficult for Argentineans to say, so it became “chimichurri” sauce (pronounced chimmy CHOO-ree).
It’s easy to make chimichurri in a blender or food processor; but purists may want to make it the original way, with a mortar and pestle. We find that pesto made this way tastes better than food processor pesto, even when the exact same ingredients are used.
 Classic: grilled beef with chimichurri sauce (photo © D’Artagnan).
RECIPE: BASIC CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
Ideally, make the chimichurri sauce a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Ingredients For 1-1/2 Cups
1. PLACE the parsley, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a blade attachment. Process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 1 minute in total.
2. ADD the oil in a steady stream, with the motor running. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine.
CREATE YOUR SIGNATURE CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
You can adding or substitute other ingredients to create a signature chimichurri:
21+ WAYS TO USE CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
Like Italy’s pesto, chimichurri is a bright green, herb-based, versatile sauce that you can use with: