It’s definitely grilling season here in Canada! When daytime temperatures hover around 29 or 30°C I dread the thought of cooking inside. Fortunately my parents have an awesome BBQ, even with a gas burner on the side. It’s been a lifesaver this week! My favourite BBQ meal involves a huge plate of grilled vegetables with fresh garlic scape chimichurri sauce. No indoor cooking required, just simple summer flavours.
Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce with lots of fresh herbs, olive oil and red wine vinegar. It’s traditionally served with meat, but goes really well with grilled vegetables too. I love the tangy, fresh flavour of chimichurri. It’s summer in a sauce to me, full of vibrant green herbs, just begging to be paired with seared meats or seasonal, grilled vegetables. My BBQ meals are no longer complete without a bowl of bright chimichurri sauce. Similar to pesto, the only equipment you need for chimichurri is a food processor or the patience to finely mince all the ingredients.
Me being me, I made a few tweaks to the traditional recipe:
- Substitute garlic scapes for garlic cloves: a bit obvious given the recipe title, but when in season garlic scapes add an intense flavour and more substantial texture to the sauce.
- Reduce the amount of red wine vinegar: I find chimichurri recipes ask for a lot of vinegar compared to the amount of olive oil, sometimes a 1:1 ratio. I find this too acidic and harsh tasting. I like a ratio of about 2:1, oil to vinegar.
- Use a greater variety of garden fresh herbs: Usually chimichurri is made mostly with cilantro and parsley. I only wanted to use herbs from our garden, so omitted cilantro and used a mixture of oregano, parsley, mint, and chives. The fresher the herbs, the better they taste. So make use of what you have in your herb garden, avoiding anything too strong like rosemary or sage.
To create a full meal around garlic scape chimichurri and grilled vegetables a few more simple additions are required. I prepared some fluffy pitas and homemade hummus. To grill the pitas, I brushed the pita dough with oil and grilled for about 3-4 minutes per side – they turned out beautifully! We treated ourselves to local lamb, Merguez sausages from Kilrenny Farm, but you could use veggie sausages instead. This eclectic mix of Mediterranean and South American dishes worked together really well. The vibrant and fresh flavours compliment each other and nothing is too overpowering. Perfect summer eats!
I hope you’re just as big of a fan of garlic scape chimichurri sauce as I am! There’s no need to turn the oven on when you can create delicious grill-based meals like this. Do you have a favourite barbecued meal when the temperatures rise?
Hope you’re enjoying the hot and sunny weather where possible. My thoughts are with all the people in the BC interior affected by wildfires. Really scary stuff, but glad we have lots of dedicated firefighters in our province and resilient communities.
Garlic Scape Chimichurri with Grilled Market Vegetables
Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce
- 2-3 garlic scapes (or garlic cloves)
- 2-3 cups loosely packed herbs (assortment of parsley, oregano, cilantro, chives, and/or mint)
- 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes or 1 jalapeno or red chilli
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 large platter assorted seasonal vegetables (ex. peppers, zucchini, carrots, radish, kholrabi, etc.)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- salt, to taste
Garlic Scape Chimichurri Sauce
Roughly chop garlic scapes. In food processor, pulse scapes until they're coarsely minced.
Add all remaining chimichurri ingredients to the food processor. Process the sauce for about 1 minute, scraping down sides in the middle if necessary. The should still look rustic and not completely pureed.
Allow to sit 15-30 minutes before serving. Garnish with finely sliced red chillies or a sprinkle of red chilli flakes if desired.
Turn barbecue to medium-high, around 400-450°F.
Chop vegetables into large pieces and place on a large platter. Small vegetables, like radish, can remain whole. Drizzle oil over top of vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.
Grill vegetables 4-5 minutes per side, flipping once nice char marks appear. Turn BBQ heat up or down as necessary.
Serve grilled vegetables on a large platter with a bit of chimichurri sauce drizzled over top, leaving the rest of the sauce on the side. Enjoy!