Chimichurri is a Latin American condiment typically made with garlic, herbs, oil, and an acid such as vinegar or citrus juice. It is a staple of Argentine, Uruguayan, and other South American cuisines. Chimichurri is most often served with grilled meats and fish and makes an excellent sauce, condiment, marinade, and even salad dressing.
When wild ramps are in season, they are a great addition to chimichurri. Ramps, also known as wild leeks and spring onion, are a wild edible plant that’s similar to a scallion but with long, flat oval leaves and a more garlicky flavor. Ramps can be added or substituted for the garlic or shallot typically used in chimichurri. They have a great garlic-scape-like flavor that works perfectly, and either the ramp leaves or the whole plant can be used in chimichurri. I prefer to only use the leaves for this type of recipe, as it’s a more sustainable way of managing your ramp patch. I often serve chimichurri with wild-caught fish or game meat, and ramp chimichurri goes great with spring staples like wild turkey and fresh-caught trout. Chimichurri is extremely quick and easy to make, and most household kitchens have at least 90 percent of the ingredients at any given time.
The preparation and use of chimichurri are similar to other herb-based sauces such as Italian gremolata. All you have to do is roughly chop and combine your ingredients. It’s an easy way to add an acidic, garlicky punch to a favorite dish that can cut through the richness of a meal. And, one of the best things about chimichurri is that you can get creative by adding, omitting, or substituting ingredients based on the flavor you’re going for.
Read Next: The Beginner’s Guide to Picking and Cooking With Ramps
Here’s a basic recipe for ramp chimichurri that I often pair with grilled venison and other wild game. I prefer the texture of cutting the ingredients by hand, but you could use a food processor or blender if you’re going for a smoother texture. This recipe yields roughly 1 to 2 cups of chimichurri and will last for well over a week if refrigerated.
- 8 to 10 ramp leaves
- ¼ cup of flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup cilantro, picked
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried oregano
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 jalapeno
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flake
- Thoroughly wash the ramp leaves and all the herbs.
- Roughly chop the ramp leaves and herbs. Mince the garlic and shallot.
- De-stem and seed the jalapeno, then dice it into small pieces.
- Combine everything in a mixing bowl, then add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper flake.
- Mix everything together and refrigerate until it’s cold.
- Serve with your favorite meat or fish.