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You know when little kids have to pee really badly, and they start dancing and grabbing their shorts in anticipation of the bathroom? I am doing that dance right now in anticipation of telling you about this sauce. I realize that this is not appropriate behavior for an adult.

I first discovered this style of chimichurri at a food truck in Austin called Conscious Cravings. Their chimichurri seitan wrap is so phenomenal you absolutely cannot miss it if you ever get a chance to visit Austin. Their seitan is the perfect texture, and paired with cilantro chimichurri, some lettuce, tomato, and melted Daiya, it can hardly be beat. It goes without saying that I had to come up with my own version or risk bankruptcy.

There are two things I really like about this chimichurri: cilantro is the dominant flavor, and there’s a little mayo to give a creamier texture and pretty light green color. You also get more complex, well-rounded flavors, much like using margarine in the place of oil.

Anyway, enough talk. Here’s the recipe, followed by a few ways to use it.

Cilantro Chimichurri

  • ¼ c vegetable oil
  • ¼ c vegenaise (the grapeseed oil one is best)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley (about 1 c packed)
  • 2 bunches cilantro (about 2 c packed)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • A few grinds of pepper

Rinse your cilantro and parsley well. I usually dump what I’m using (minus stems) into a big bowl of water, swish it around, replace the water, and repeat. Remove some of the big stems from your cilantro and parsley, but don’t worry about all of them. You are an amazing, fascinating person with a busy schedule–you have more important things to be doing with your time than fastidiously de-stemming things.

In this case it extra doesn’t matter because the next step is to food process the hell out of all the ingredients at once. If you find things aren’t fully incorporating, try different settings on your food processor. Mine spins the blade two different directions, so I start one way, then switch to the other. Ultimately, the herbs should be turned to confetti in a brilliant light green sauce. If you’re feeling daring, you can also add a little smoked sweet paprika.

You’re going to be tempted to eat this right away and you definitely can. However, it really benefits from resting about 15 minutes or more before serving. There are a lot of strong, fresh flavors in this (the herbs, lemon, and garlic particularly) and they need to mellow out a bit before you get the best out of them. It’s worth the wait.

Now, what do you do with this amazing sauce? Did you even read the title of this post? Geez. Okay, I’ll start you off with three good ideas.

  1. Smother seitan or pinto beans in it and put it in a wrap with tomatoes, lettuce, Daiya, and sriracha.
  2. Put a healthy amount on top of a veggie burger.

Or, 3. make Chimichurri Pizza:

Crust (for one personal pizza):

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • warm water

Toppings:

  • Upton’s ground seitan
  • Fake bacon or thin sliced fake ham, diced
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Daiya mozzarella or similar
  • Sriracha to taste

Mix the dry crust ingredients and add enough warm water to get the right consistency. Knead it, roll it out, all that good stuff. You are familiar with pizza. Smear chimichurri all over the rolled dough. Sprinkle with ground seitan, bacon/ham, and a thin layer of Daiya. Bake it in the hottest oven you can manage, or try this if you’re feeling bold. (Just keep in mind that this pizza is much more likely to catch fire than others due to the oil in the sauce. Watch it carefully under a broiler and don’t put it too close.) When done, sprinkle with fresh diced tomatoes and drizzles of sriracha. Boom. Mouth party.

I really hope you try this sauce. Well, at least the sauce, but also the pizza. Chimichurri is just so delicious, AND can be put on everything, AND comes together quickly. I don’t know how much more you can ask for.

Oh wait, nutritional value. That would be nice.

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