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Fresh Oregano

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Illustrations by John Burgoyne  

Oregano, contrary to popular belief, is found not only in shakers at pizza parlors or in little plastic bags sold by shifty-eyed men in Washington Square Park. It’s also available in its fresh, fragrant form at several farm stands at the Union Square Greenmarket including Stokes. The Argentine chef Francis Mallmann combines the pungent herb with garlic and parsley in a chimichurri sauce you’ll want to slather on just about everything you toss on the grill this summer.

Francis Mallmann’s Chimichurri

1 cup water
1 tbs. coarse salt
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
2 tsp. crushed red- pepper flakes
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt, and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Mince the garlic very finely, and put in a medium bowl. (1) Mince the parsley and oregano, and add to the garlic, along with the red-pepper flakes. (2) Whisk in the red-wine vinegar, then the olive oil. Whisk in the salted water. (3) Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and keep in the refrigerator. Let the flavors mingle for at least a day, and serve with grilled meats. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks (adapted from Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, by Francis Mallmann with Peter Kaminsky; Artisan, 2009).


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