Dear Food Diary:
Growing up in Argentina, salsa Provenzal and Chimichurri were quintessential to any good asado or parrilla aka BBQ grilled meats. The garlicky herb mixture, paired well almost everything. Honestly, I slathered it on anything from chicken to fries.
Because I could never chose between the two, I started making my hybrid recipe of Provenzal Chimichurri Sauce. Provenzal or chimichurri purists need not email complaints. Food is personal and we should be able to have fun and make it the way we like it.
This is my second simple recipe card (see first card)
Salsa Provenzal is basically parsley, garlic, olive oil and salt to taste. It acts as a base for Chimichurri, just add fresh or dried oregano, chopped onions or shallots, red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice, thyme and red pepper flakes if you like with a little heat.
I usually have lemons at home, so I started adding that instead of red wine vinegar. I buy organic lemons and try to make good use of the whole fruit by incorporating some zest into the sauce.
You can play around with the flavors and find a mixture you prefer. I’m not afraid of garlic breath, but if you are, just put in less.
It’s important to keep the finished sauce covered and topped with lots of olive oil, don’t be afraid. The infused oil will also come in handy to top a dish or dip bread. They will keep for 4-5 days.
Keeping parsley fresh
Recently, I learned this new trick to prolong its freshness – put it in a jar with fresh water, cover with a plastic bag and put it in the fridge. Works wonders.
I sometimes make the base sauce and take out small batches to experiment. Like adding smokey paprika or different blends of herbs just to change it up a bit, without committing to a whole jar.
Because this cod didn’t have any skin, I generously covered it with the provensal chimichurri sauce with walnuts. Baked it for 8 minutes and then broiled it for another 8. The result was just fantastic and I’ve been making it since. The garlic, herb crust with crunchy nuts is superb and the lemon really helped balance the oily fish.
One versatile sauce
I wasn’t kidding when I said I enjoy it on everything. If you’ve been following my Instagram, you would of seen all these variations and uses – not just steak. It makes an amazing marinade for grilled shrimp, think tapas style. It also brings any boring grilled chicken or fish to life in an easy peasy way. And don’t forget garlic bread.
I hope you’ll enjoy a little bit of Argentina in your meals.