About a year ago if you’d have asked me my feelings on sauces laden with olive oil, I would have said “no way”. Growing up, I remember that if I ate anything drowning in oils, my cheeks and mouth would start feeling a sensation I didn’t like and I just didn’t feel right. Even today, I shy away from oils – all except cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil (from the freshest source I can find) and high quality avocado oils and occasionally cod liver oil. Looking back, I was probably right to not like oils. Most of what I grew up on were highly refined vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated oils (trans-fats). Furthermore, if you look back at our primal ancestors, they likely consumed and made very few oils by hand (i.e. pressing olives to gather their fatty oils). Yet, if we take care in choosing a high quality olive oil, studies suggest we can’t go wrong, if we consume it in moderation. Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats which are known to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Yet, at the end of the day, I still must admit, I’m not the kind of primal gal that misses “dunking a freshly baked piece of bread into a dish of olive oil”. There are only a very few recipes in which I use olive oil, and one of my favorites is this one. Chimichurri originated in Argentina and is used widely in Latin America. Its a green sauce based in garlic, olive oil, parsley, oregano, and vinegar. It’s used as a marinade for grilled meats and is often served alongside meats (think sausages, lamb, pork, even poultry). Apparently, you’ll always find a dish of this stuff on the table at restaurants in Argentina. I use it as a dip for quick boiled chicken breasts and serve it on top of lamb chops. The flavor here is all in the fresh herbs – the parsley and oregano – as well as the bits of dried apricot. I just adore this sauce.
A few notes before you get started: 1) Even though you might be tempted, don’t use a food processor for this recipe – the golden hue of the olive oil will turn into a brown, muddy-looking mess. 2) I love using curly parsley here because of its ability to soak up and float in the liquids surrounding it. It seems like a more robust choice versus the flat parsley but feel free to use what you wish.