Get ready to put this ish on EVERYTHING! If you like cilantro as much as I do, this cilantro chimichurri will become your new BFF!
Okay, here’s the deal… my love for cilantro runs deep. So deep that my blood is probably green. Okay, maybe not that deep. But you get it. Plus, I don’t love parsley very much. So, when making a chimichurri, I just had to do an all cilantro version. I know, I know, this is not a totally authentic Argentinian version, so there’s that. This cilantro chimichurri is packed with tons of fresh, herb-y flavor from the cilantro and garlic.
Traditionally, chimichurri is made with fresh parsley, fresh garlic, dried oregano, olive oil and vinegar. My version is based on this but with a few swaps.
CILANTRO: Obviously, the cilantro swapped in for the parsley. You can definitely do it with all cilantro like I did, or a combo of 50/50 cilantro and parsley, or just be authentic and use all parsley. TIP: chop/mince the cilantro and then measure it. Ideally you want 2 cups after it has been minced. I’d recommend buying 2 bunches and seeing how much you end up with once it’s all minced. You can never have too much cilantro 😉
GARLIC: As for the garlic, you can totally use as much or as little as you want here. Play around with it. I’ve made it with a whole head of garlic, and as little as 5 cloves like I did in this recipe.
OREGANO: Next is the oregano. Traditionally, dried oregano is used, and that’s what I did too. Someday when I have fresh oregano on hand, I’ll use it and see what I think, but it’s not typically a fresh herb I have on hand.
CRUSHED RED PEPPER: Red pepper flakes are a must in my opinion. Again, as much or as little as you want based on your heat tolerance.
LEMON JUICE: Okay, here’s another swap I did. Typically, you’ll see recipes use red wine vinegar, and I’ve used that as well. But, there’s just something I love about the taste of fresh lemon juice combined with the fresh cilantro and garlic. But again, do what you want! If you don’t have any lemons, def try it with red wine vinegar. And whatever you do, DO NOT use that bottled lemon juice in the plastic yellow lemon. Just don’t go there!
SALT BRINE (OPTIONAL): Technically called “salmuera,” a salt brine helps keep the fresh herbs bright and prevents them from discoloring. It’s basically just 1 cup water heated with 1 tablespoon sea salt until the salt dissolves, then cooled to room temp. If you add this in, you probably will not need any additional salt in the recipe, but go by taste.
For the method, I like to chop everything with my fav knife and then whisk together in a bowl. I mean, you can totally break out the food processor or blender if you want, but it won’t save you much time IMO.
Okay, now you wanna know what to put the cilantro chimichurri on? My answer is EVERYTHING, obviously! Traditionally, in Argentina, this garlicky herby condiment is enjoyed on meat, especially steak!
I’ve enjoyed it on grilled flank steak:
On salads as a salad dressing:
On poached eggs and avo toast:
And on steak tacos of course:
I hope you love my cilantro chimichurri as much as I do! You can also check out my Spicy Cilantro Sauce which is similar but with a very distinct and different flavor profile.
Salt Brine (optional)
Bring water and 1 tbsp sea salt to a boil and remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temp.
Combine minced cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil, then salt brine if using. Taste and adjust salt to preference.
Allow flavors to mingle for a few hours and enjoy!
Cilantro loses it's potency over time, so this is best enjoyed within a few days up to 1 week.