It’s time for another Recipe Redux! This month’s theme: Fantastic Freezer Meals. We were challenged to share our tips and tricks for making freezer meals– it’s the end of gardening season so freezing is a great way to store fresh produce. If your garden is full of fresh herbs, this recipe is perfect for you! Herbs freeze well when combined in a sauce that can easily be thawed.
Chimichurri is a traditional green sauce (similar to pesto) typically used for grilled meat, popular in South America. Basic ingredients include parsley, garlic, onion, olive oil, oregano and vinegar. For my recipe today, we’re switching out the oregano for cilantro for a unique flavor profile.
The olive oil as the base helps to preserve the herbs, without making them wilted, dried out or victim to freezer burn. If you’re wanting to preserve those fresh herbs from your garden, make a big batch of this sauce ahead of time and keep in freezer-safe bags or containers in your freezer. Whip it out any time to make meals taste fresh from the garden. It tastes great on seafood, like shrimp, but chimichurri is also amazing on steaks, chicken or white fish like tilapia.
While making this shrimp chimichurri, I discovered my new favorite way to cook shrimp: high heat! I’ve always cooked shrimp over medium low. But using a high heat with a little more oil cooks them super fast, and they curl up into tight coils and even have a nice light brown sear around the edge. You want the heat to be high enough that the shrimp pop and sizzle when added to the pan! This creates a crisp, juicy shrimp that have an awesome bite.
I received free samples of Royal Basmati Rice that I used in this recipe.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup cilantro, tightly packed
- 1 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, tightly packed
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- juice from 1 a lemon
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- pinch of salt + pepper + red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp butter
- 2/3 cup orzo
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup long grain white rice (I used Royal’s Basmati Rice)
- 2 3/4 cup no salt added chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 turmeric
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds of large, raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse a few times and then slowly add the olive oil until well blended. Set aside.
- Heat oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the orzo, salt and pepper and stir until browned, about 1 minute.
- Add the rice and saute, stirring, until rice is coated with oil and butter.
- Add the broth, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley and turmeric and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and no longer opaque. Remove from heat and toss in the sauce, serve on top of rice pilaf.
- The sauce freezes well in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container.
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!