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South American Jalapeno-Parsley Salsa

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Meat is as central to South American cuisine as it is to North American, and this typical salsa—a chimichurri—is a superb meat relish. In Argentina chimichurri is served over lean, range-fed, pampas beef steaks. We prefer using green-tasting fresh Italian parsley in this salsa. Should you find only plain canned jalapeños, then do add some vinegar.

Every year the many Spanish speakers of Northern California hold a Latin American festival in Gilroy. José Feliciano comes to sing, Mexican and Spanish dancers perform, and across a wide grassy field stand booths offering every sort of Latin American food imaginable. The hit of the fair is the Argentine empanadas, folded over pie crusts surrounding fillings similar to tortilla fillings. The empanadas are accompanied by a South American salsa made from jalapeños and lots of parsley that is slathered over the outside. We’ve included our version of the salsa to slather inside North American tacos.

TIP: The special flavor of this salsa depends on using marinated jalapenos. If you cannot find them, use plain canned ones and add ¼ teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar to the salsa.

Preparation Time - TextTakes less than 20 minutes

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party

Dietary Considerationvegetarian

Equipmentfood processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, savory

Type of Dishsalsa

Ingredients

  • 18 canned marinated jalapeño chili peppers
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, preferably ltalian flat-leaf
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

Wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands, cut the stems off the jalapeños.

In a food processor or using a chef’s knife, chop the chili peppers, onion, and parsley into medium-size pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the oil. Use right away or cover and refrigerate for up to several weeks.

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