A DIFFERENT “CHIMI”

Posted: September 2, 2022 in Uncategorized

Chimichurri, as I mentioned in a previous blog, is a garlicky, herby green sauce usually used with grilled meats. This pesto-like condiment originated in Argentina and is also commonly used in Nicaragua and Uruguay. Though some recipes include cilantro, many people insist the original is made only with parsley. It also makes an excellent marinade for grilled meats.

 

Fresh basil from the garden.

 

 

When I posted that blog, my friend, Brenda, asked me if I’ve ever used basil in my chimichurri. I had not…and that sounded like a great idea, especially since I had an overload of basil still growing in my garden. Technically, I guess I couldn’t call it chimichurri anymore, but that’s okay. What I got was a real flavor bomb that worked beautifully as a marinade, on grilled meats, and in other applications.

 

 

 

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, about 4 cups, loosely packed
1/4 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3–4 tablespoons fresh oregano, leaves only (or 1 tablespoon dry)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed bay leaf
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all the basil and the water in a food processor and begin to chop, pulsing for a second at a time. When the basil is in small pieces, stop pulsing and add the remaining ingredients, except the vinegar and olive oil. Start the processor on a full run now, and slowly pour in the vinegar, then the olive oil. Try not to make it too smooth…leave some tasty bits. Allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes, but overnight in a sealed container in the fridge is best.

 

I used this new basil “chimi” on chicken. (The recipe is in a future blog.) But I could also see how awesome it would be tossed in a salad, especially a Caprese-style tomato and mozzarella salad, where the chimi would take the place of fresh basil leaves.

 

But my garden was also overflowing with shishito peppers, so rather than throwing them in a pan with olive oil and simply blistering them the way I usually do, I took a few spoons of the “chimi” and melted it in the pan, adding the shishitos, and tossing them around in it until they were blistered. The “chimi” actually blackened a bit, but in a good way, bringing out the herby flavors like a blackened Cajun dish might, and a sprinkle of finishing salt was all it needed before serving.

 

Slightly blackened “chimi” made these shishitos delicious!

 

There are many other ways to use this new “chimi,” and I’ll be trying them all!

 

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