Summer is in the air and the last thing I want to do is be stuck cooking inside! Luckily, we have had some great weekend getaways lately, one of which was to my old stomping grounds in Napa to visit my friend Deryn and her husband David. The weather was perfect for grilling and enjoying wine and appetizers on the patio. One evening Deryn made a quick chimichurri for dipping bread in and it was so delicious that we just had to recreate it it at home.
Chimichurri is a blend of olive oil, vinegar, garlic and fresh herbs (traditionally parsley) that is used as a sauce for grilled meats in Argentina and other parts of South America. Deryn mixed things up by using cilantro and balsamic vinegar. Plus she has this cool bowl that has a rough bottom that you rub the garlic on, rather than mincing it. Must. Get. This. Bowl.
When Kevin and I made our version at home, we used jalapeno olive oil and peach balsamic vinegar to give it a sweet and spicy kick. Use this recipe as a starting point for your own flavor combinations. The possibilities are endless!
Ingredients:1 cup torn cilantro leaves, stems removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup jalapeno olive oil (or any other flavor olive oil)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or use 1/2 cup if not using a flavored one)
1/4 cup peach balsamic vinegar (or any flavor vinegar)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Serve with some sliced bread for a quick appetizer, or along side your main course.