Red Chimichurri Sauce is smoky and slightly spicy compared to the more common green chimichurri sauce. It’s delicious served with grilled proteins (chicken, fish, beef, tofu) or grilled vegetables. I love Latin American food and recently discovered red chimichurri sauce as I was planning the menu for my husband’s birthday dinner. I’ve been making green chimichurri sauce for years, so when I spotted chicken pintxo with red chimichurri sauce on a Spanish tapas menu, I was intrigued.
This past Saturday was my husband’s birthday. He had just arrived home from a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles to accompany our son, Jeffrey, who was visiting two universities to start a masters program in Christian counseling this coming fall. Thankfully, Jeffrey was able to celebrate with my husband before they parted ways – Jeffrey back to Michigan, and my husband back to Connecticut.
To my husband’s surprise, our other two adult children came home Saturday for his birthday. Celebrations like this are becoming all the more precious as our adult children start moving all around the country, and start their independent adult lives.
I decided to make a 9-course tapas dinner for my husband’s birthday, including Chicken Pintxo with this Red Chimichurri Sauce, Spanish Garlic Shrimp, mini Jamaican patties (I found these at Stew Leonards), roasted cauliflower with roasted piquillo peppers, dried cranberries and toasted pistachios, Tuna Tartare Bites, Spanish Octopus Tapas, Homemade Ricotta Cheese with chile flakes, sea salt and truffle honey, grilled skirt steak with truffle vinaigrette, and sauteed sugar snap peas chile flakes, garlic and fresh mint.
I made this red chimichurri sauce and marinated the chicken pintxo the day before. I also cooked the skirt steak sous vide and pressure cooked the octopus one day ahead. I did make the ricotta cheese an hour before dinner so it would be warm. Last minute cooking was quick and easy, and I found the toaster oven worked perfectly for roasting the cauliflower.
Red chimichurri sauce is similar to green chimichurri in that it uses fresh cilantro and parsley, but it’s more complex. Red bell pepper adds some sweetness and color. Spanish paprika adds smokiness and chile flakes add a little heat.
Hand chop all the ingredients or take a shortcut and pulse everything in a food processor.
Serve Red Chimichurri with grilled proteins such as chicken, fish or tofu, or grilled vegetables. It’s a great way to make a regular meal extra special.
Cooking for my family is one of the best ways I can show my family how much I love them. Now that three of my sons are adult children and my youngest son is almost off to college, I hope the food memories I have created over the years will stay with them well after I’m gone.
My mom comments often about how impressed she is that my husband and I are able to plan trips and gatherings with our kids, even with their busy independent schedules. We try to plan fun family get togethers several times a year, whether it’s meeting everyone in Ann Arbor for a University of Michigan basketball game, or New York City for a birthday dinner. These special times we share take a lot of planning (sometimes booking flights from three different airports to our mutual destination), especially given everyone’s tight calendars. But, the memories we are creating will last a lifetime, and I hope will be keep our family ties close, especially amongst the four boys. For that is my husband and my hope and desire.
Red Chimichurri Sauce
Delicious served over grilled chicken, fish or vegetables
- 1 red bell pepper stem and seeds removed, cut into chunks
- 2 scallions trimmed, cut up
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch parsley cut up, including stems
- 1/4 bunch cilantro cut up, including stems
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoon mild Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Continue pulsing and slowly add oil to salsa.
Adapted from The Latin Kitchen