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It’s Easy Being Green in the Summertime

It’s Easy Being Green in the Summertime

Do you know chimichurri sauce? I didn’t, until we had owned the inn for a few years. Now I feel like I see it everywhere. (Isn’t that always the way?) My quick explanation to curious customers was, ‘it’s kind of like pesto only made with parsley instead of basil’. That doesn’t fully explain, since there are no pine nuts and no parmesan either, but that at least gets the right sort of picture in your mind. 

We learned about it when a neighbor stopped by with a jar, saying she had made too much and offering us some. (Shoreham has the best neighbors, truly.) She liked to serve it with steak so we tried it that way and it was delicious. We asked for a recipe, looked up recipes, tried various recipes and it became a Shoreham Inn staple. Most often, we continued to serve it with steak. I’ve also been known to dip crackers or vegetables into it. Spread it on bread with some cheese. It’s remarkable what you’ll do to feed yourself given very little time but very full refrigerators.

The hubby and I catered an event a couple of weeks ago. We don’t really do this but it was for a friend, it was super casual, the family is really, really nice and making food for other people can be fun. It is funny when we do this, now that we aren’t doing it every day, how quickly and easily he and I fall into our roles. I make overall lists and think of all the details, he creates menus and amasses ingredients in the right proportions. We go back and forth a time or two about the variety and quantity of food, whether it hits the right overall feeling and then we’re off, each to do our own bit of the cooking work. To meet up again when it comes time to deliver, serve and present, when I usually take charge once again. It’s a very practiced dance and takes very little active thought anymore. (One of the menu items was thinly sliced steak with chimichurri sauce – that’s the connection – in case you were lost here….)

I remember once, several years ago, when a group of our friends were staying at the inn and one friend remarked at how he would find feeding ten people breakfast so stressful. And the hubby and I realized how far down a road we were because we thought ‘Ten? Only ten?’ I’m not saying it isn’t difficult, if you don’t do it all the time, but when you do (practice makes perfect – isn’t that what our mothers all said?) it can even be fun. The other thing that happens when you do a lot of cooking for large groups is you start to know what recipes work – which ones are easy to replicate, please a crowd and can be produced in large quantities.

Anyway, I’ll ramble back to my point –  that a simple to prepare sauce, one that keeps well for a few days even, can often mean the difference between a ‘meh’ meal and a tasty one. Or if you need an easy-to-make crowd pleaser for a large group. If your parsley is running riot like mine is, then this is a good time to whip up some chimichurri. (Yes, I have to look up the spelling of this word every single time I type it….) Use it on steak, or grilled chicken, or sautéed tofu. Toss it with some blanched green beans. Spread it on crusty bread and add cheese. Enjoy.

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 fresh hot pepper, de-seeded
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor and process until finely chopped.

  2. Transfer to a small bowl and whisk in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  3. This will keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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