A Bold Chimichurri-Inspired Herb Sauce made parsley, cilantro, dark balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and pumpkin seeds and 100% vegan, dairy-free, nut-free and oil-free! Perfect served over fries, buddha bowls, burritos or even pasta!
Get those taste buds ready, I’m back with another bold-flavored recipe today, just in time for the weekend!
I originally was going to call this strictly Chimichurri Sauce, but since it’s not exactly chimichurri, I didn’t want to upset anybody by calling it that. Classic chimichurri uses solely parsley (no cilantro), red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano and oil and is also not pureed into a 100% smooth sauce.
Since I use parsley, cilantro, dark balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and pumpkin seeds and no oil, it is definitely not chimichurri. However, it definitely is a close cousin in terms of flavor. I know I recreate classics with completely different ingredients all the time, but that is usually in terms of standard basic recipes like cakes, ice cream or something, but not something so specific as a chimichurri, I didn’t want to disrespect anybody by calling it that and be respectful to different cultures. This is also the same reason why I didn’t name this Gazpacho.
To make a bold sauce, we need some amazing fresh bold-flavored ingredients:
1st herb: fresh parsley
2nd herb: fresh cilantro
Remaining ingredients: fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dark balsamic vinegar, garlic, dried oregano and the surprising ingredient, pumpkin seeds! NO OIL!
Chimichurri is very bold in flavor and known for the heavy herb flavor, tart from acidity and is typically used as a marinade or spooned over beef or other meats sometimes. So, basically, a very strong sauce to be used in smaller amounts. The same applies here with this recipe.
Since I don’t eat meat, I have used this as a dipping sauce for french fries and holy moly, it’s fabulous and my favorite way to eat it! It is also good on pasta, as I’m sharing that here over these amazing pappardelle pasta. However, since it is such a strong sauce, a little goes a long way. It’s basically similar to a pesto in flavor, just more of an acidic punch and of course, not basil, but stronger herbs of cilantro and parsley.
This sauce would also be delicious to “bring alive” buddha bowls drizzled on top. Yum! You can find many ways to use it.
If you are not a fan of bold, wake-you-up sauces, then you may want to sit this one out. It is strong, herb-y, tart, garlicky and strong, but sooooo delicious! It’s right up my alley because I absolutely cannot stand bland food. I’ve noticed the older I get the more I like strong flavors greater than ever!
Bold Chimichurri-Inspired Herb Sauce
- 1 lightly packed cup (22g) fresh parsley
- 3/4 lightly packed cup (15g) fresh cilantro
- 4 tablespoons (60g) water
- 2 tablespoons (30g) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15g) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15g) dark balsamic vinegar (really gives depth of flavor!)
- 2 large garlic cloves 9g
- 1/4 cup (40g) raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional but highly recommended for flavor depth and a kick)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend, starting slow and increasing speed, until smooth. You will need to scrape the sides a couple of times, as it will spatter up the sides. Blend until completely smooth. Add and adjust cayenne as needed. I found 1/8 teaspoon to be perfect, a nice kick of heat without being too spicy, but just delicious.
- Chimichurri is very bold in flavor and known for the heavy herb flavor, tart from acidity and is typically used as a marinade or spooned over beef or other meats sometimes. So, basically, a very strong sauce to be used in smaller amounts. The same applies here with this recipe.
- I have used this as a dipping sauce for french fries and it's fabulous and my favorite way to eat it! It is also good on pasta, but since it is such a strong sauce, a little goes a long way. It's basically similar to a pesto in flavor, but more acidic and a punch. It can be used in many ways and as a drizzle to bring alive any type of buddha bowl!
- To make the cherry tomatoes over pasta, just add as many tomatoes as you like, cut in half, to a parchment-paper lined pan and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes until juicy and blistered!