Easy Chimichurri Rice Recipe: A Flavorful Twist on Classic Sides

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine infusing the vibrant zest of chimichurri—a beloved Argentinian sauce known for its bold flavors—into a steaming bowl of rice. That’s exactly what you’ll explore in this chimichurri rice recipe. It’s a delightful twist on a classic side dish, offering a fresh and herbaceous kick to your meal with every spoonful.

This recipe not only packs a punch in terms of flavor but is also incredibly simple to prepare. Whether you’re looking to jazz up your weeknight dinner routine or impress guests at your next gathering, chimichurri rice promises to be a crowd-pleaser. So grab your herbs, get your rice ready, and let’s dive into making this aromatic and colorful dish that’ll add a special touch to any table.

Ingredients

Gather these fresh ingredients to make your chimichurri rice vibrant and packed with flavors that are hard to resist.

Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Other Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Tools and Equipment

To make your chimichurri rice seamlessly and efficiently, you’ll need a few key pieces of kitchen equipment. Here’s a list to help you prepare:

  • Food Processor or Blender: Essential for combining the chimichurri sauce ingredients into a smooth and vibrant mixture. Either appliance will work well, but ensure it’s capable of grinding down the herbs finely.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife: You’ll need this for finely chopping the herbs if you prefer to make your sauce by hand or need to do prep work for the aromatics.
  • Cutting Board: Opt for a large one to handle all the fresh ingredients you’ll need to chop and prepare.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy is key in recipes like this, where the balance of flavors can significantly influence the end result. Make sure you measure the liquids and solids accurately.
  • Cooking Pot: A medium-sized pot works best for cooking the rice. Choose one with a tight-fitting lid to ensure that the steam is retained in the pot, which is crucial for perfectly cooked rice.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: This will be useful for stirring your rice and ensuring it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot.
  • Serving Bowl: Choose a large, attractive bowl for serving. Chimichurri rice is vibrant and colorful, so it could be a centerpiece at your dining table.

Before you start, ensure all your tools are clean and accessible to streamline your cooking process, making the experience enjoyable and hassle-free.

Preparation

Get ready to infuse your kitchen with the aromas of Argentina with this simple and delightful chimichurri rice recipe. Below, you’ll find detailed steps to create both the sauce and the base of your dish.

Making the Chimichurri Sauce

  1. Gather Your Ingredients: Start by collecting all the necessary ingredients. You’ll need 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves, 1 cup of cilantro leaves, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper, and 1/2 cup of olive oil.
  2. Blend the Herbs and Garlic: Place the parsley, cilantro, and peeled garlic cloves in the food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until the herbs are coarsely chopped.
  3. Add Liquids and Seasonings: Incorporate the red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to the chopped herbs. Blend them together until everything is just combined.
  4. Stream in the Olive Oil: With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture transforms into a vibrant, emerald sauce.
  5. Taste and Adjust: Give your chimichurri a taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary, to suit your flavor preferences. This sauce should be bold and tangy.

Preparing the Chimichurri Rice

  1. Measure the Rice: Measure out 1 cup of long-grain white rice.
  2. Rinse the Rice: Thoroughly rinse the rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. This step helps remove excess starch, ensuring your rice will be fluffy and not clumpy.
  3. Cook the Rice: In a medium pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 18 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  4. Fluff and Mix: Remove the pot from heat. Fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains gently. Once fluffed, stir in a generous amount of your freshly made chimichurri sauce, mixing thoroughly to ensure the rice is evenly coated.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Serve the chimichurri rice warm, either as a zesty side dish or as a base for your main meal.

Cooking Process

Now that you’ve made your zesty chimichurri sauce and gathered your ingredients, it’s time to cook the rice and combine everything to create your flavorful dish.

Cooking the Rice

  1. Measure and Rinse Rice: Measure out 2 cups of white rice. Rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes excess starch and helps your rice to have a fluffier texture once cooked.
  2. Boil Water: In a medium-sized pot, bring 4 cups of water to a vigorous boil. Add a teaspoon of salt to enhance the flavor of the rice.
  3. Cook the Rice: Add the rinsed rice to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Let the rice cook for about 18 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  4. Rest the Rice: Remove the pot from heat. Let it sit covered for 5 minutes; this lets the rice steam and keeps it moist. Fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains.

Mixing Chimichurri into Cooked Rice

  1. Prepare the Cooked Rice: After resting, transfer the fluffy rice into a large mixing bowl. This will make it easier to mix in your chimichurri without breaking the tender rice grains.
  2. Add Chimichurri Sauce: Pour the chimichurri sauce you prepared over the warm rice. The amount you add can be adjusted based on your taste preference. Typically, starting with about half a cup is recommended, and you can add more if desired.
  3. Mix Thoroughly: Using a spatoli or large spoon, gently fold the chimichurri into the rice. Ensure you distribute the sauce evenly, coating every grain with the herby, vibrant green mixture for maximum flavor.
  4. Taste and Adjust: Give your rice a taste and add more sauce if needed. Depending on your preference, you might also want to add a little extra salt or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an additional kick.
  5. Serve Warm: Once perfectly seasoned, serve your chimichurri rice warm. It’s fantastic on its own or as a hearty side to complement grilled meats or vegetables.

Serving Suggestions

Elevate your meal with the vibrant chimichurri rice that complements a variety of dishes wonderfully. Here are some top recommendations for serving:

Pair with Proteins

For a satisfying meal, serve the chimichurri rice alongside grilled or roasted proteins. Think juicy grilled steak, succulent chicken thighs, or even a rich fillet of salmon. The herbaceous and tangy flavors of the chimichurri sauce cut through the richness of the meats, balancing each bite.

Vegetable Combinations

Embrace a plant-based approach by pairing chimichurri rice with grilled or roasted vegetables. Bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus work beautifully, offering a delightful char and sweetness that meshes well with the bold flavors of the rice.

Include in Bowls

Construct a vibrant bowl by starting with a base of chimichurri rice. Top it with a mix of protein, such as pulled pork or black beans, add some fresh vegetables like sliced avocado or cherry tomatoes, and finish with a dollop of yogurt or a sprinkle of feta cheese to add creaminess and tang.

Use as Stuffing

Utilize the chimichurri rice as a stuffing for bell peppers or tomatoes for a festive and flavorful dish. This method not only infuses the vegetables with the rice’s flavor but also makes for a visually appealing presentation that is perfect for special occasions.

Accompany with Seafood

Complement the freshness of seafood by serving the chimichurri rice alongside shrimp, scallops, or a beautifully grilled fish. The natural mildness of seafood paired with the zest of chimichurri creates a harmony of flavors that is hard to resist.

Feel free to experiment with these suggestions, mixing and matching to discover your favorite combinations that let the chimichurri rice shine as a versatile and exciting dish in your culinary repertoire.

Storage Advice

After preparing and enjoying your vibrant chimichurri rice, proper storage is key to maintaining its freshness and flavor. Here’s how you can store any leftovers securely.

Refrigerating Your Chimichurri Rice

To keep your chimichurri rice fresh for later consumption, allow it to cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation from forming inside the container, which could make the rice soggy. Spoon the rice into an airtight container and seal it tightly. The rice will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to five days. Always use a clean spoon to serve or scoop out the rice to avoid introducing bacteria into the storage container.

Freezing for Long-Term Storage

If you’ve made a larger batch of chimichuri rice, freezing is a great option to consider. For the best results, spread the cooled rice on a baking sheet in a thin layer to freeze it quickly and evenly. Once frozen, transfer the rice to freezer-safe bags or containers. Be sure to label and date the bags. Properly stored, the frozen chimichurri rice can last for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the rice in the refrigerator overnight.

Reheating Stored Rice

When you’re ready to revisit your delicious chimichurri rice, ensure it’s heated to the right temperature to maintain taste and texture. To reheat, sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over the rice and cover it loosely with a lid or a microwave-safe cover. Heat it in the microwave on high for several minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating. Alternatively, reheat it in a skillet over medium heat, adding a small amount of water or additional olive oil to prevent sticking and restore some of its original moisture.

Following these storage and reheating tips, your chimichurri rice will remain a delightful addition to meals even days after preparation.

Conclusion

Ready to elevate your culinary game? Your new chimichurri rice recipe is the perfect way to bring a burst of flavor to your table. It’s not just about the vibrant, herbaceous taste—it’s about transforming an ordinary meal into something extraordinary. With the fresh, zesty combination of herbs and spices you’ve just mastered, you’re all set to impress at your next dinner party or family gathering. Remember the joy is as much in the making as in the eating. Enjoy every spoonful and the smiles it brings!

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