Did you know that chimmichuri is originally from Croatia?
Chimmichuri (čimicuri in Croatian) is a green herb sauce that is meant to be drizzled on grilled meat. It was long thought to have been invented in Argentina.
There are several legends which attempt to explain its origins, including that it was brought to Argentina in the 1800s by an Irish mercenary by the name of Jimmy McCurry... Chimichurri?
"Tximitxurri" is also a Basque phrase that roughly translates to "a mixture of several random things".
However, like all things in this world, chimmichuri is originally Croatian.
It all started when a man asked his friend how he knew his sauce was perfect.
"Kako znate da je vaš umak savršen?" His friend replied, "Čim iscuri."
And čimicuri was born.
The key to a perfect čimicuri is its consistency. The ingredients must be mashed and just enough olive oil added so that it drips or dribbles off your spoon, but is not too runny.
The dish and its many variations were cultivated by Croatian sailors exploring the Eastern Mediterranean, and were carried over to Spain and Argentina since the 18th century.
Čimicuri is most often used to baste lamb, pork chops, chicken, poached tuna, vegetables or sauteed shrimp while grilling or roasting. It can also be served as a cold topper.
Selo Olive Oil
½ cup parsley (finely chopped)
2 tsbp fresh oregano or basil (finely chopped)
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
½ cup shallots (finely diced or minced)
1 small red chili pepper (deveined, seeds removed and finely diced)
2 tsbp red wine vinegar
1 tsbp fresh lemon juice
½ cup Croatian extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional herbs, such as thyme, basil, cilantro, etc. (optional)
Mix the shallots and garlic together with salt in a mortar and crush repeatedly with a pestle.
Add the herbs and peppers.
Add the olive oil and vinegar slowly while crushing until the sauce dribbles but is not too runny.
Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to release all of the flavours into the oil before using. Ideally, let it sit for more than 2 hours, if time allows.