Grape Leaf Chimichurri | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

This was a fun experiment in the kitchen that turned out pretty well.  We used grape leaves and oregano from the backyard to make a grape leaf chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri made with grape leaves and oregano

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri sauce is a green spicy herb sauce that originated in Argentina.  It is typically made with parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  

Two of our favorite restaurants in town, District Kitchen + Cocktails and Fresa’s Chicken, serve a beef dish covered with chimichurri.  And it is one of my absolute favorites!   

Right now I have so much oregano growing on the patio garden that I just had to try to make it at home.  

But I also have a crazy grape vine growing back there, too.  

And I thoughtcould I substitute the raw grape leaves for parsley?

The Grapevine

So I googled it and you can eat raw grape leaves.  And apparently they are super good for you, too.  

Filled with vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, folate, and antioxidants.  

I love a stuffed grape leaf but this was kinda major to think about eating the leaves raw.

As far as pesticides, I’ve been spraying the grapevine intermittently with Organocide to manage the pests and fungus.  It is made with a blend of sesame oil and fish oil.

It was designed not to hurt bees, butterflies or lady bugs.  

And it says that you can actually harvest the same day unless you have a fish allergy.  So far it has been working fine but this also means that the grape leaves are organic and edible.

Then we tasted them.  

The larger older leaves were a just little bit bitter, but the light green medium ones were quite nice.  They had almost had a hint of lemon flavor.

grape leaf chimichurri

The Grape Leaf Chimichurri

So after looking through a few recipes I decided to wing it using oregano, grape leaves, fresh garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and red pepper.  

I didn’t really measure it out but this is what I did to make the grape leaf chimichurri:

  1. After washing the grape leaves and oregano, I took about 6 medium grape leaves and tore them up removing the major veins.  
  2. Then I placed them into a mini-prep (small food processor) along with a few handfuls of oregano pulled off the stalk.  
  3. Pulsing to break down the greens a bit.
  4. Then I added two cloves garlic, a few splashes of white wine vinegar, salt, ground pepper and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.  
  5. And then I just drizzled with EVOO and pulsed until the consistency looked right.  
  6. Then taste tested for more salt, vinegar or heat until I got the flavors I liked.  

I wish I had an actual recipe but I thought I would share because I was so excited about how it turned out!  It is slightly milder than regular chimichurri made with parsley.

We had it with beef but now I want to make a big old batch and put it on everything.

Do you like to get creative when cooking with things you have on hand or growing in the garden?

 What is your latest happy kitchen concoction?

grape leaf chimichurri

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Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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