Thursday, July 18, 2013

One Sauce to Rule Them All

Tis the season for meats and birds and sea creatures and veggies on the grill.  Quick weeknight dinners and weekend barbecues with pals.  And this?  Right here?  Is the one sauce you need to get you through.

In some ways it is a classic chimichurri, plenty of parsley and garlic and chili flakes, rich extra virgin olive oil blended into a thick paste that is the perfect accompaniment to anything you pull off the coals.
On the other hand, I have tamed some of the traditional "heavy on the garlic" blends for my own palate, which craves the brightness of lemon, the mild onion undertone of chives, and the mellow balance of fresh oregano.

You can adjust based on what you have, what you like, and how you plan to use it.  Working with seafood?  Bump up the lemon.  Lamb?  Swap out the oregano for thyme or rosemary.  Veggies? Change out the oregano for basil, smooth it with more oil or stir in some yogurt.

It is insanely versatile, and once you get the basics down, you can play with it all summer long.

Tonight it will get slathered on some perfect medium rare skirt steaks, along with some white beans with tomatoes and sautéed Tuscan kale.  A perfect quick summer dinner with pals.  

What is a go-to recipe for your summer dining?


3 bunches flat leaf parsley, stems discarded
½ c loosely packed fresh oregano or marjoram leaves
½ c coarsely chopped chives
¼ c distilled white vinegar
zest of one lemon
2 T lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1 T Kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 c extra virgin olive oil

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

How do I love thee Vitamix, let me count the ways....

 Pulse until the leaves have broken down and it starts to resemble a paste.  Then turn on high and blend until you have a smooth puree.

Isn't it insane how that full bowl pureed down to so little?  But so much flavor!

 Store in fridge with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent browning.  Best made the day before for flavors to blend, taste for salt and pepper before serving.

Wonderful on grilled meats and vegetables.  Blend a couple of tablespoons with more vinegar and oil for a salad dressing, or with sour cream for dip.  Use as a marinade.  A great appetizer is to grill hearty bread, spread with the chimichurri while still hot, then add sliced fresh mozzarella and summer tomatoes.

Makes about 2 cups

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath

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