from the kitchen of Engrid WinslowItalian Giant Parsley

Chimichuri originated in Argentina but the name is based on a Basque word which can be loosely translated as “a mixture of several things in no particular order”. You can change it into a red sauce by adding tomatoes and/or red bell peppers. Other flavorings can be used such as paprika, cumin, thyme, lemon, basil, cilantro and bay leaf. In a pinch, you can substute dried oregano or hot sauce for the chili flakes.
Chimichuri sauce is gluten free, vegan and delicious served with grilled foods, particularly meats, fish and vegetables. It also makes a great topping for ordinary rice or mashed potatoes, a dip for raw veggies or added to pasta, drizzled on grilled bread or as a pizza sauce.

2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
2 TBL fresh oregano
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp salt
Wash the parsley and pat dry.

(The parsley needs to be extremely dry before you place it into the food processor. If you try to pulse it while damp, it will clump up into a paste.)

Place the parsley and garlic into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Slowly drizzle in the vinegar and olive oil and pulse until combined.

Season with chili flakes and salt. Place into a jar and set to the side. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen in individual portions in an ice cube tray.

Pesto Secrets

From the kitchen of Engrid WinslowBasil

Pesto is a “secret summer sauce” because it is so flavorful, adaptable and can be frozen to bring back summer memories during the dark of winter.  Some of the best ways to use pesto are:

  • Tossed into hot or cold pasta, add other veggies, chicken and/or shrimp
  • Folded into scrambled eggs or as a filling for omelets
  • Drizzled over grilled chicken, pork, lamb or fish
  • Smeared onto ricotta-topped, toasted bread
  • Swirled into mashed potatoes
  • Drizzled on salads, roasted or grilled veggies
  • A topping for pizza
  • Spread onto sandwiches

The best tricks for getting the most flavor out of your pesto are: 1) toast nuts in an even layer in a skillet over medium heat or in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes (be sure to check often to prevent burning them).  You can keep leftover toasted nuts in the freezer so there are always some on hand.; (2) use a good quality extra virgin olive oil; 3) don’t overprocess the sauce – those flecks of texture are yummy; and 4) grate your cheese fresh by hand each time and mix it in at the end of processing.

Basic Basil Pesto Recipe

1/3 cup olive oil

1 ½ cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves

½ cup toasted pine nuts

2-4 cloves garlic, peeled

¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese

¼ tsp. kosher salt or fine sea salt

Optional:  2 tsp. lemon juice

Process all but cheese in a food processor, add additional olive oil if a thinner consistency is desired.

Endless variations

Try substituting any of the following for the basil:

Use flavored basil such as Cinnamon (also called Mexican Basil)

1 cup arugula, 1 cup mint

1 ½ cups spinach and ½ cup oregano

2 cups of baby greens, 2 Tbsp. thyme leaves

2 cups of broccoli raab

2 cups parsley (Italian flat leaf works best)

Substitute ½ of the basil with lemon balm

Use any of the following nuts in place of pine nuts:

Pecans (great with Parsley)

Hazelnuts (try with arugula and mint)

Walnuts (good with spinach)

Almonds (good with baby greens)

Swap out the Parmesan for Asiago or Manchego