This is actually a recipe that I have been wanting to share with you for a while now. I’ve been making homemade pesto for a quite a few years, and around two years ago tried my hand at making chimichurri. For the uninitiated, chimichurri is a similar concept to pesto, but with a south American twist (where it hails from – I believe its Argentinean though happy to be corrected on that). These green herby sauces are prominent in a lot of cultures, not just Mediterranean and South American diets. Which means that there are a lot of variations, making them the perfect thing to experiment with at home.
So where does this fit in to food waste? I personally struggle to grow herbs at home. My Vietnamese mint is thriving, but my regular mint, all basil varieties, coriander, even parsley! – I seriously struggle with. This means that when I need these herbs for a recipe, I’ll buy a whole bunch, though I don’t normally need the whole quantity for the recipe. This means Im left with half a bunch of herbs that sometimes I might use up, but sometimes sit in the fridge until they are starting to look a little sad. So if I’m not planning on using the herbs, I’ll turn them into a green herb sauce. This sauce can be used in so many ways (see below), and due to the oil will last a good few weeks, extending the shelf life of the herbs.
Further to this, it’s a great way to incorporate any greens that are in a similar situation (ie nearing their timely end!) or any greens that you mind not be sure how to use – think beet greens, carrot tops, radish greens etc.
- Spoon onto your avo toast
- Stir through your whisked eggs before scrambling
- Use as a marinade for tofu/fish/meat
- Add extra oil and/or a little water to thin it out a little more, and use as a salad dressing
- Use to dress pasta or noodles
– MAKE IT YOUR OWN –
This recipe is intended to be used as a guide, so you can really make it your own to suit your own tastes. If you’re not a very confident cook, I’d start with mainly fresh herbs (try one or a mix of basil, parsley or coriander) and a subtle green such as spinach. I’d also use a fairly ‘mild’ nut like a cashew.
Once you get the hang of it, start to experiment with flavours based on what you like. This dressing is infinitely adaptable and lasts a good few weeks in the fridge.
- 1 cup chopped herbs (eg parsley, dill, basil, coriander)
- 1 - 2 cup raw greens (eg spinach, kale, beet greens, turnip tops etc)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ⅓ cup nuts (eg cashews, walnuts, macadamias, pine nuts) or seeds (eg pepitas, sunflower seeds) or a mix of both
- Extra virgin olive oil*
- Lemon juice or vinegar (white wine, red wine, apple cider, or a mix)
- Salt to taste
- Optional add ins - chilli flakes, spices (eg cumin, paprika)
- Add the nuts/seeds and garlic to a food processor and process until they resemble breadcrumbs.
- Add the herbs, greens, a generous pinch of salt (start with up to a teaspoon), and 2 - 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice/vinegar. If you are using chilli or spices, add these here too.
- Pulse until combined. Taste and ensure it tastes okay at this stage - you should be able to taste each of the elements. If you have used a lot of bitter greens at this point, you may wish to add more herbs to balance out the bitterness, or alternatively a little more lemon juice/vinegar. Also add more salt if required,
- Remove from the food processor and place into a jar. Pour over enough olive oil to cover, and then stir until combined. Taste again at this point and adjust the seasonings if required.
- Note that if you wish this to be runnier to be used as more of a salad dressing, you can add more oil here, or more lemon juice/vinegar if you feel it needs it. You could also thin with water, though be careful as this will also dilute the flavours.
Katie @ Whole Nourishment says
I’m just returning home after travels and realized I missed this recipe! I’m sure you know how much I love a chimichurri or any kind of punchy herb dressing. So naturally this is right up my alley. Love that you added nuts to yours. And great ideas for using it in various dishes.