You’ve been riding all day. You’re completely drained, devoid of all energy or culinary creativity.
But here’s the problem: you promised your significant other dinner, and just invited your famished ride buddies over as well. You’re already an hour-and-a-half late. People are hangry, especially your better half. Your only chance at redemption is to cook something unreal, and quick. But you blew out your derailleur on the ride (hence the tardiness), so it needs to be cheap, too.
This, my perplexed friend, is your hero bail-out recipe: chimichurri (“chim-meechurry”), a dish as delicious as it is fun to say, and as exotic as it is colorful. This brightgreen sauce has more kick than an Argentina vs. Brazil World Cup match; just pair it with your perfectly cooked free-range livestock, sea creature, or garden vegetables of choice, and it will turn your dirtbag status to desirable culinary rock star in 10 minutes.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar (bonus points for using Spanish Sherry vinegar)
- 1/4 sweet onion, rough chopped (green is good too, just use a little bit more)
- 1-2 jalape.os. Seeded for mild, seeds for extra kick
- 1 healthy bunch of cilantro or Italian parsley, rough chopped (at least a cup, more is better)
- Salt to taste
PLAN OF ATTACK
- Place onions, olive oil and vinegar in a blender (or whatever device you use to make a smoothie), adding herbs last for easier blending.
- Blend till smooth and season with salt.
- Serve with your favorite grilled meats, fish, or veggies.
If a sauce tastes perfect on its own, it’s called a soup. A good sauce should be intense, concentrated and, when added to its accompanying dish, should achieve a harmonious middle ground.
Use whatever herbs, chilis, vinegars, onions, or oils you prefer. Add spices like Sumac, coriander, cumin, or caraway for depth. Make it creamy by blending in avocado. Get creative, have fun, play around, and—just like preparing for an enduro—try different lines before your race run. Stay out of the culinary sheep path.
Spencer Santenello is a private chef who has been mountain biking for 15 years and cooking since he was a grom. When not behind handlebars or in the kitchen, he can be found in either Whatcom County or Kauai, HI, surfing, riding, building trail or drinking lavender Americanos.