Charred Lemon-Mint Chimichurri

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This sauce works well with grilled meats (especially lamb chops and steak) and fish (try fresh sardines or halibut), but it’s a good accompaniment to vegetables too. Drizzle it on thick slices of tomato, grilled zucchini, or to dress a grainy salad or cucumbers.

1 small lemon
1 small jalapeño
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh spearmint leaves
3 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped shallot
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Cut off the blossom and stem ends of the lemon, removing enough so that you can see the pulp on both ends. Cut the lemon into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and place in a small bowl with the whole jalapeño. Toss with a little bit of olive oil and salt, and grill or broil until slightly charred. Return them to the bowl, and cover with a plate. The steam will cause them to soften and collapse slightly, and make the skin of the jalapeño easy to remove.

2. Peel and seed the jalapeño (leave all or some of the seeds and membrane if you prefer some spice). Remove any seeds from the lemon slices. Put about 4 slices of lemon and the jalapeño in the bowl of a food processor with the parsley, mint, oregano, garlic, shallot, and vinegar. Pulse the ingredients in short bursts to chop and combine without creating too fine a purée. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining olive oil. Remove the sauce and let sit at least 2 hours or up to overnight, during which time the flavors will develop.

Makes about 1 cup

Recipe by Ellen Jackson



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