I apologize for the unexplained hiatus. School and the job hunt have been a bit overwhelming these last two weeks, not to mention the 2 baking recipes that I bombed last Monday. I was so excited to have a long weekend to "celebrate" President's Day and bake something tasty. Or, not so tasty, as it turned out. Thinkin' 'bout Lincoln... and burnt coconut macaroons. Sigh... oh well.
I'm working on letting things go.
Since then I've been back in the kitchen, working to redeem myself from the President's Day Disaster (it'll live on in infamy, I'm sure). The other night I made a flat-leaf parsley pesto sauce to smear on top of the chicken we were having for dinner. I put garlic and olive oil and a little Parmesan in the blender with half a bunch of leaves and pureed. It was quite tasty, and added some flair to the meal. Then the following day, we were watching Anthony Bourdain galavant around Uruguay, gorging himself on BBQ'd animal parts, and the condiment of choice on every single table was a sauce by the name of chimichurri.
Parsley, olive oil, garlic, chilis... it was full of the same ingredients my pesto had been made from. Only it looked different somehow. More liquidy, more chunks of parsley and vegetable. It wasn't the homogeneous, single-shade-of-green texture produced by a food processor. It had more character. Its individual ingredients were distinguishable from one another and beckoned the eater with each one of their unique flavors. I was intrigued.
That chimichurri has been on my mind ever since. Traditionally the sauce is used by South Americans (specifically Argentinians and Uruguayans) as a marinade and condiment for meats, but since when did I care about conformity? My plan was to make a batch of spicy, herbed oil and sample the flavor on everything. I've been thinking of dressing salads with it, sauteing veggies in it, and drizzling some atop a bowl full of simple white bean dip. Viva el chimichurri!
White Bean Dip with Chimichurri Sauce
makes about 1.5 C dip & 3/4 C. sauce
For the dip:
3/4 C. dried cannellini beans, cooked and drained (or 1- 15 oz. can, drained)
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2-3 T. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 T. water
- Put the beans and garlic in the food processor and pulse several times, until mostly pureed. Drizzle in 2 T. olive oil and process until well combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl, add the lemon and salt, and continue to process until well combined and smooth, several minutes. Scrape sides again.
- With processor running, add filtered water, 1 T. at a time to thin the dip, until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and season further with salt and/or lemon if desired.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the chimichurri:
1 C. flat leaf parsley, chopped (tough stems removed)
1/2 C. olive oil
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined.
- Drizzle over white bean dip and serve with raw veggies or homemade crackers.
- Store leftover chimichurri in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and use it as a marinade or sauce for meats, fish, poultry, pasta, or eggs.