Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes (to roast the bell pepper)
Keywords: sauce vegetarian vegan gluten-free soy-free sugar-free pepper parsley olive oil
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 red bell pepper on the small side (to be roasted before use)
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced
- 1/2 Macedonian hot pepper, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 ounce / 15 grams fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
Note: recipes instruct to use jarred roasted peppers, but this is pepper season so I use a freshly roasted pepper and freshly harvested chili peppers.
Heat the oven to 400 F / 200 C.
Place the bell pepper on a baking sheet, on one side. (For efficiency's sake, I either roast several bell peppers or, if I need only one, I roast it together with other vegetables.)
After 20 minutes, give the bell pepper a half turn. Continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes. The bell pepper is ready when it is slightly collapsed and the skin is charred in patches and soft. If it doesn't look ready, let it roast for a few more minutes. When it is ready, take it out of the oven and let it steam for 15-20 minutes in a paper bag, a closed container or on your cutting board, under an upside-down bowl.
In the meantime, mince the garlic. Trim the chili peppers, making sure to remove all the seeds, and mince them. Set these ingredients aside.
With your hands, remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper and peel it. The steaming process makes the skin easy to slip. Chop the roasted bell pepper and place it in a small bowl. Add the minced garlic and chili peppers, the lemon juice and vinegar, stir well and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
For the chopped version: In the meantime, finely chop the parsley (I use a mezzaluna for this step). Add the chopped parsley, the two spices and the sea salt to the mixture and stir well, then slowly pour the olive oil while stirring.
For the blended version: Whiz the parsley briefly in the small bowl of a food processor. Add the mixture, the two spices and the sea salt to to the food processor and pulse several times. Slowly pour the olive oil and pulse some more until the desired consistency is reached. I recommend to leave some texture.
For both versions: Letting the sauce sit for at least an hour will allow the flavors to better blend. I like to prepare it several hours or the night before, keep it in the refrigerato and take it out ahead of time so it is at room temperature by the time I use it. Taste the chimichurri right before using it and add a bit more salt, if needed.