Colombian Chimichurri

1 garlic clove, peeled
1 ½ cups fresh parsley
½ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place all the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a container.

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Puerto Rican Chimichurri

NOTE: Of all the three versions that I posted, this is the one that I have had before, in Puerto Rico. It’s amazing. I like it on toasted bread (like bruschetta) or with angel hair pasta. If you eat meat this is traditionally used as a marinade for steak. If you blend it a lot, it becomes a nice salad dressing. No matter how you eat it, if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy it. 🙂 If you try multiple chimchurri recipes, please let me know which one you like best in the comments!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons chopped scallion or onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Pulse parsley, cilantro, garlic, onion and jalapeño in a food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined.
Store in sealed container in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Argentinian Chimichurri

Disclaimer: I haven’t had this. I’m posting it to show the difference between the chimichurri of different regions.

Ingredients

2 cups packed Italian flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup packed fresh oregano
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil (best quality)

Instructions

  1. Pulse parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped (this will take a bunch of pulses, but you don’t want to puree the mixture).
  2. Scrape parsley mixture into a bowl and stir in olive oil.
  3. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours to a few days before serving so the flavors can meld.
  4. Enjoy!

Tabbouleh

Note: This makes the amount you usually get in a restaurant as a side dish, half a cup or so? For my family of four, it is the perfect amount.

2 tsp fine bulgur wheat
Juice of 1 large lemons, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 1/4 bunch)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 ripe tomato, very finely chopped
1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped or 1 scallion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place the bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 30 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, onion and salt.
  3. Leave in the fridge overnight, so that the bulgur can continue to absorb liquid and swell.
  4. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings.

Syrian Baba ghanoush

2 large eggplants
2 large vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 roasted red pepper, roughly chopped (from a jar is fine)
1 small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped, reserving a few whole leaves for garnish
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pomegranate, seeds only
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Pierce the eggplants with a knife and roast in the oven for 45–50 minutes, or until really soft and tender. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, peel the aubergines and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, peppers and parsley and mix well. Add the garlic, pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, stirring to combine.
  5. Arrange in a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with the reserved parsley leaves and some pomegranate seeds.

 

Syrian Falafel

Falafel

NOTE: Do NOT NOT NOT use canned chick peas or your recipe will break apart when frying. Ask me how I know..

TO SOAK THE NIGHT BEFORE:

450g/1lb dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, with 1 tsp baking soda
handful fresh coriander leaves
handful fresh parsley leaves
1 garlic clove
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
25g/1oz sesame seeds

GARNISH

1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable oil
good pinch sumac, to garnish

  1. Drain the chickpeas and tip two-thirds of them into a saucepan, reserving the last third for the falafels. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45–50 minutes, or until tender. Alternatively, cook in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the falafels, put the reserved uncooked chickpeas in a food processor and blend with the fresh coriander, parsley, garlic, spices and sesame seeds. Add a little warm water if the mixture is too thick. Season to taste. Shape into 20 falafels.
  3. Deep fry. Drain on paper towel lined plate.

Tahini Sauce

3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
good squeeze lemon juice

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

To Make the Falafel Sandwich

2 large Arabic flatbreads (or pita bread)
1 beef tomato, sliced
2 pickles, sliced
handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper