I’ve noticed a ton of recipes lately for chimichurri and others that have it as an ingredient. So today we’ll let you know exactly what is (if you’re wondering) and we’ll use it to make a chimichurri white bean dip.
What is chimichurri?
Chimichurri is sauce popular in Argentina and South America and is a similar idea to pesto. The main herb in chimichurri, however, is not basil, it’s parsley. The other big difference is that there is no cheese or pine nuts, so it is vegan and gluten free. I have seen many debates about whether chimichurri should contain other herbs like cilantro and oregano (which we are using in this white bean dip recipe). I’m guessing it’s similar to the debate about pesto being something other than the traditional basil. Either way, it’s delicious.
This spring, we have tons of oregano, parley, and cilantro in the garden. I love that our oregano and parsley basically last all winter, and since I let the cilantro and parsley flower and seed in the fall, tons of new plants of both herbs started growing as soon as the weather warmed up this spring. We have been using the oregano in our zesty quinoa greek salad and the cilantro in our cilantro quinoa burrito bowls. I really enjoy having fresh herbs in the garden. We can find many of our favorite veggies at the farmer’s market or local produce stands, but herbs are hard to find. Although some of our favorite herbs last through the winter in the garden, I need to try and remember to test out some of these indoor and kitchen herb garden ideas for winter.
We originally started making our white bean dip with just parsley in it, but now that we have all three herbs in abundance, I think this chimichurri white bean dip has taken over as my favorite. Plus, we the addition of red pepper flakes, there is a little bit of heat added (feel free to add more or less depending on your preference for spiciness).
The cilantro has begun to flower and before oregano starts to flower, I will probably try to make a large batch of this without the beans and freeze to use once it really heats up. I’ve read that oregano isn’t as flavorful once it blooms, and cilantro does not like the heat of summers in Maryland. Then later in the year, we can thaw some and enjoy spring herbs all year! We also like to stock our freezer with our pesto made with basil and toasted walnuts.
Serve this chimichurri white bean dip with your favorite chips or crackers. Depending on the crowd we are serving, we tend to buy gluten free or vegan crackers. However, recently we found some amazing naan chips that were perfect with this dip (but they weren’t vegan). But it is also amazing with veggies if you are trying to skip the carbs!
Chimichurri White Bean Dip
- 15 ounces cannelini beans
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup oregano
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Add all ingredients except oil to food processor and pulse until combined.
- Add olive oil while food processor is running until well combined.