Charleston chefs find inspiration in the classic Argentinian sauce, chimichurri
WHAT IT IS:
Chimichurri, an oil-based sauce traditionally composed of parsley, oregano, and garlic, is having a Lowcountry renaissance. “Chimichurri is a classic, and classics are in right now,” explains chef Jacob Huder, who adds the ingredient to an array of items on his menu at The Macintosh.
WHERE TO GET IT:
The Macintosh (479 King St., themachintoshcharleston.com)
Huder praises the classic chimichurri recipe, which dates back to when gauchos (South American cowboys) used the sauce and benefitted from its antioxidant-rich mixture. In his riff on steak and eggs, Huder uses it to top a brunch dish incorporating grilled steak, confit potatoes tossed in onion and garlic, sauteed greens, and eggs cooked to order. “Chimichurri has a nice acidity that rounds out the fattiness of the steak and eggs, which makes for the perfect bite,” explains Huder. “It is light, flavorful, and versatile.” The sauce can also be found on Huder’s dinner menu finishing off a seasonal pork chop that comes with grilled corn, squash, onion, and roasted tomato.
Butcher & Bee (1805 Morrison Dr., butcherandbee.com)
At this hip uptown outpost, chef Michael Zentner uses the sauce in a more radical way, veering away from meats and focusing in on potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and especially shishito peppers. “Chimichurri is versatile and full of flavor; it has impact without overpowering the item,” says Zentner. “You can use it as a marinade, sauce, or dressing. And you can change the basic ingredients to create a different flavor, like we did with our red pepper chimichurri.” The red peppers are roasted over charcoal, then he finely dices them to create a sauce for Butcher & Bee’s roast beef sandwich. “It is fresh and light and adds a quick punch of flavor,”
Cannon Green (103 Spring St., cannongreencharleston.com)
Cannon Green executive chef Michael Perez plates chimichurri in both brunch and dinner dishes, describing the sauce as a good opportunity to make the most of local ingredients: “It is a multilayer sauce with a ton of flavor, and in the South most of these ingredients are local, so we are supporting our farmers and community by utilizing what we have.” He even uses chimichurri on Charleston’s iconic shrimp and grits. For further Argentinian flair, come back for Cannon Green’s dinner selection, which features a more refined version of the bright green puree served over a New York strip.