As much as I love chimichurri – the Argentinean condiment for meats and potatoes – I don’t make it as often as I should. Skirt steak is in our dinner rotation at least every other week. Most of the time it is sliced and used to top salads, but when I don’t there’s always roasted potatoes or some other starch involved. In those occasions, it’s always nice to have some sauce on the side. This is part of the lore on how chimichurri came to be an Argentinean and Uruguayan staple.
According to a cute and popular story, back in the nineteenth century, an Englishman named Jimmy Curry arrived at an estancia in Argentina with the intention of exporting beef. He was greeted with a traditional mixed grill to showcase the ranch’s products. When he asked how was the beef seasoned, the gauchos replied that the meat was just salted before grilling. As a way to contribute to the party held in his honor, Mr. Curry asked to have garlic, onions, tomato, and herbs so he could prepare a sauce. The gauchos enjoyed the condiment so much they continued preparing it and the sauce named after Mr. Jimmy Curry evolved into chimichurri. The expression: “Ché, mi curry!” (“Dude, my sauce!”) is another similar explanation for the origin of the name. This one makes a whole lot more sense. 🙂
The origin of this arugula chimichurri is 100% utilitarian. I had some arugula that was starting to wilt, so I combined it with the typical garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Since the arugula and the garlic flavors are both very assertive, I added a few drops of agave syrup to balance them.
Chunky Arugula Chimichurri
Yield: 1 cup
- 1 cup packed arugula (leaves and stems)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil + more for processing the arugula and garlic
- 2 tablespoons
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or more to taste
In a food processor, finely chop the arugula and garlic. Add olive oil as needed to help the vegetables process.
Transfer the contents of the food processor into a non-reactive bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow to rest for ten minutes. Check for taste and adjust with extra salt or agave.