For this surprisingly smooth, yet flavorful, chimichurri, I take some of the fresh ingredients that one might find in their favorite Chimichurri and roast them in the oven. It’s almost like a romesco sauce without the nuts and bread.
Oven Roasted Vegetable Chimichurri
2 plum or roma tomatoes (salmonella-free); halved
1 small red bell pepper; halved
1 medium-sized onion (about the size of a billiard ball); quartered
6 cloves of garlic; unpeeled
Flat-leaf parsley (enough leaves with some stems to tightly pack 3/4 cup); roughly chopped
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup neutral-flavored oil (sunflower)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
red pepper flakes (optional)
extra oil for roasting vegetables
Place tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, and garlic into a roasting pan. Drizzle a little oil over everything (start with a very small amount, you can always add extra later). With your hands, rub that oil over every surface of the ingredients. Or use a brush if you are afraid of getting your hands dirty. Arrange tomatoes and pepper so that the pieces are skin side up.
Place under broiler. After 5 minutes, remove garlic (oh, the smell of roasted garlic) and continue to broil the rest for 4-5 minutes. The tomatoes and onions should be ready to be removed. If the pepper skin has not evenly browned or blackened to the point were the skin can come off easily, continue broil while checking every minute until ready. Set all of the ingredients aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Remove the skins from garlic, tomatoes, and peppers. Remove seeds and pulp from the tomatoes and peppers. If any of the onion pieces are badly blackened, trim and remove those parts. Or leave a little for added smoky flavor. Add these ingredients to a food processor along with parsley, vinegar, water, oregano, salt, and paprika. Process for 10 seconds. Then use the pulse button until the parsley is finely chopped–a little larger in size than dried oregano. Add oil and pulse a few more times.
Pour mixture into a bowl. Add black pepper, red pepper flakes, and extra salt(if needed) to taste. Due to the sweetness of the roasted vegetables and the creamy-like texture from the oil, this sauce is extremely smooth and mellow. I like to add some extra vinegar tablespoon by tablespoon, while tasting, until there is a little extra bite. Use immediately or allow it to rest, covered, in the refrigerator overnight for maximum deliciousness.
*I use a gas oven set on 4 with the pan about 3.5 to 4 inches under the flame.