If you’ve tasted chef Ethan Lappe’s delectable elk burger at Salt Lake’s Caffe Niche (or as a chef’s special on the Chow Truck), you know that chimichurri sauce can make a burger sing.
|The inviting bar at Caffe Niche|
Some people call this condiment the “pesto of Argentina,” but that’s not quite right. It doesn’t call for cheese and the texture is on the chunky side rather than smoothed out in a food processor. Part of the appeal of this green parsley- (and, in this recipe, also basil-) based condiment is the texture of the roughly chopped herbs.
Chef Lappe uses Champagne or white wine vinegar in his recipe. “Red wine vinegar is more traditional, but gives the sauce a brown tinge. “ he notes. “In the restaurant, I use chimichurri sauce on our hanger steak, elk burger, or on top of roasted yams. I love it on just about anything. The trick is to leave it at least overnight to slightly pickle the onions and soften their heat.” To that I’d add, it’s also nice swirled into soups or stews or spooned over eggs cooked any way.
Caffe Niche Chimichurri
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup roughly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
10-12 fresh basil leaves (or ¼ cup, chopped and packed)
¼ cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight to develop and soften flavors.
* * *