Thursday, February 26, 2015

Argentina! with Chimichurri Sauce and Potato Salad

Chimichurri. Chimichurri, chimichurri...I just like to say that word. Okay, so I took a little trip down to Latin America recently. I wanted to make a batch of chimichurri sauce, which I learned is as common as ketchup in Argentina. I also know when I posted a blog entry about chimichurri in the past, my Argentinean friend Marie liked it! It was nice to know someone had heard of it before, that it was a thing, because I was really just trying to figure out a way to use up extra cilantro and parsley. In my quick research, I learned a bit about the cuisine and culture of Argentina as I surfed through the food blogs. While browsing for chimichurri recipes, I found an Argentinean potato salad, and many versions of a skirt steak or flat iron steak doused in chimichurri.

Chimichurri is made up of cilantro and parsley, with a bite of garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Argentineans use it on steak, and practically everything else, I guess. I wanted to use it as a sauce for fish, but according to one food blogger, fish is not a common dish in Argentina. The people are mostly farmers and therefore live off the land, not the sea. Who knew? Of course, that makes their fisheries plentiful and enticing to foreign fisherman, who are now taking advantage of the abundant fish.

Our local fish this week was Bank Rockfish, and as I reviewed the recipes on the SLO Fresh Catch blog, I didn't see any recipes that immediately sparked my attention. I didn't feel like having a gremolata, or a lemon fish, or a salsa-topped fish. One thing I did note: fish is best with the simplest preparation: fried, poached or baked. I think I will just use a bit of breading and fry it in a pan, then top it with the rich, green chimichurri sauce. That should be a nice break from the usual tartar sauce, even though my husband makes a great one. It's kind of his thing, so I always try to let him do the tartar honors.

Then, I had these potatoes that I had prepped the other day for making French fries, but then I didn't have enough canola oil to fry them, so they were chilling in a bowl of water in the frig. Why not make a potato salad instead? Even though the potatoes are already cut into a fry shape, I think they will work; I just chopped them into shorter pieces. Argentine Potato Salad with little pimento stuffed green olives, no less! It has green olives, dill, and green peas, so it coordinates with the green chimichurri sauce.

Then, because I needed another vegetable, I decided to bake a head of cauliflower with the spicy yogurt sauce that I found on Pinterest. Its such a dramatic-looking way to fix and serve cauliflower, perfect for impressing dinner guests. I had a beautiful head of cauliflower from our SLO Veg box this week just waiting to be presented in this way. 

I know this dinner is going to be very WHITE in color...white fish, white potatoes, white cauliflower. That's a little weird, but hopefully it will still look appetizing. The green notes will brighten it up, I think.

Chimichurri Sauce


  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
  • 1 cup cilantro, trimmed of thick stems
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves (can sub 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1 Finely chop the parsley, fresh oregano, and garlic (or process in a food processor several pulses). Place in a small bowl.
2 Blend in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings.
Serve immediately or refrigerate. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving. Can keep for a day or two.

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