Chimichurri is a light, oil-based condiment with origins in Argentina. The name comes from a Spanish Basque word that means “a mixture of several things in noparticular order.” In South America, each family has their own version of a chimichurri recipe handed down over centuries. I like it because it is bright and fresh with a ridiculous amount of flavor. Plus, it is great to use throughout all of the dishes for an entire meal. One tip, though—rough chop the parsley and cilantro by hand. If you use a food processor the herbs will turn to puree and you will end up with baby food instead of a condiment or sauce.

Chimichurri Base

3 cups packed cilantro leaves, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon chili flakes

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 serrano chili, chopped

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon verbena, chopped

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

1 lemon, zest and juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Dump all ingredients in food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds. Divide into two half-portions. Use one half-portion of chimichurri base as marinade for flatiron steak. Use second half-portion of chimichurri base to make marinade for tomatoes, salad vinaigrette, and meat drizzle.

Chimichurri Marinated Flatiron Steak

1 1/3 pounds flatiron steak

6 shallots cut in half

1 cup chimichurri base

1 yellow zucchini, cut in half

1 green zucchini, cut in half

Pour chimichurri base on steak in pan and lay shallots on top. Let sit for at least 3 hours up to 5 hours. Remove steak from marinade and grill for 3-4 minutes. Grill zucchini for 3 minutes. Then, put back in pan and finish in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Marinated Tomatoes

¼ cup chimichurri base

2 drops oregano essential oil

3 drops black pepper essential oil

1 drop lemon essential oil

2 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped (or 4 cups chopped)

2 ounces shaved manchego cheese

Place all ingredients except cheese in bowl and let sit for couple of hours. Right before serving, mix cheese into tomatoes.

Chimichurri Vinaigrette

½ cup chimichurri base, pureed

1 teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 medium shallot, sliced

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 drops oregano essential oil

2 drops lemon essential oil

2 drops thyme essential oil

Place all ingredients in a shaker cup and shake well to combine.

Chimichurri Meat Drizzle

¼ cup chimichurri base

2 drops oregano essential oil

2 drops black pepper essential oil

1 drop lemon essential oil

2 drops rosemary essential oil

Combine all ingredients in shaker cup and shake well to combine. Drizzle over grilled flatiron steak as finish.

Grilled Salad

2 cups baby arugula

2 heads Romaine lettuce, cut in half

Brush of chimichurri base

2 ounces shaved manchego cheese

Chimichurri Vinaigrette

4 slices Italian Rustic bread

Brush cut-side of lettuce with chimichurri base. Place cut side down on oven burner or grill. Chop grilled lettuce and arugula together. Mix half of cheese into chopped salad mix. Toss with Chimichurri Vinaigrette. Grill bread on oven burner then put in oven to finish for 5 minutes to make crisp like a crouton.

Putting it All Together

Lay grilled bread on plate. Top with grilled salad mix. Slice zucchini and lay on top of grilled salad mix. Spoon marinated tomatoes and cheese over salad mix. Slice flatiron steak and lay on top of tomatoes. Last, drizzle with chimichurri drizzle and salt and pepper to taste.

Written by Chef John O'Neil