What to Serve With Chimichurri Steak? Best Side Dishes to Try

What to Serve With Chimichurri Steak? Discover the perfect culinary companions for your chimichurri steak in this guide. We explore a variety of side dishes that enhance and complement the bold, herbaceous flavors of this classic Argentine dish, ensuring a delightful and balanced dining experience.

Introduction to Chimichurri Steak and Side Dishes

Chimichurri steak, a staple of South American cuisine, is celebrated for its harmonious blend of flavors. Originating from Argentina, this dish pairs a perfectly grilled steak with the vibrant chimichurri sauce. The steak, typically a high-quality cut like ribeye or sirloin, is seared to perfection, creating a tender and flavorful base. The star, chimichurri sauce, is a zesty blend of parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. This bright green sauce serves as both a marinade and a topping, infusing the steak with its herbaceous and tangy profile. Chimichurri steak is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of bold, fresh flavors that delight the palate. Whether savored in a lively Argentinean restaurant or at home, it remains a favorite among meat enthusiasts worldwide.

Understanding the Flavors of Chimichurri

Chimichurri sauce, the essence of chimichurri steak, is a flavor-packed condiment. Its base of fresh parsley offers a verdant, herbal foundation, while garlic adds depth and earthiness. The red wine vinegar introduces a bright acidity, cutting through the steak’s richness. Olive oil unifies these flavors, adding a smooth texture. Oregano contributes a peppery note, enhancing the sauce’s complexity. Some variations include chili flakes or paprika for a gentle heat. Appreciating these nuanced flavors is key to understanding chimichurri’s appeal and its ability to complement the steak, creating a balanced and invigorating dish. For more insights on grilling the perfect steak, check out these expert tips on grilling steak.

Importance of Choosing the Right Sides

Selecting appropriate side dishes for chimichurri steak is crucial. The right sides balance the meal, complementing the chimichurri’s tangy profile. Creamy mashed potatoes or buttery polenta can mellow the sauce’s acidity, while a crisp salad adds a refreshing touch. Grilled vegetables or roasted roots offer a sweet, smoky counterpoint to the bold sauce. These sides not only diversify and enrich the meal but also cater to various palates, ensuring the steak remains the highlight. Thus, careful selection of side dishes is vital for a complete and satisfying chimichurri steak experience. For a diverse range of salad recipes that can accompany your steak, visit Epicurious.

Classic Side Dishes

When it comes to complementing chimichurri steak, classic side dishes play a pivotal role in creating a well-rounded meal. These sides not only enhance the flavors but also add a comforting element to the dining experience.

  • Mashed Potatoes: A quintessential side, mashed potatoes offer a creamy and smooth texture that pairs beautifully with the robust flavors of chimichurri steak. The buttery richness of the potatoes provides a soothing contrast to the tangy and herbaceous chimichurri sauce. For an added twist, infuse the potatoes with roasted garlic or a touch of truffle oil to elevate the dish further.
  • French Fries: Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, French fries are a delightful accompaniment to chimichurri steak. They act as the perfect vehicle for savoring the flavorful chimichurri sauce. Seasoning the fries with herbs like rosemary or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can add an extra layer of flavor, making this classic side dish even more irresistible.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and adds a rustic charm to the meal. Vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots, when roasted, develop a caramelized exterior and a tender interior. This sweetness complements the zesty chimichurri, creating a balance of flavors. Drizzle the vegetables with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper for a simple yet satisfying side.

Salad Options

Salads, with their fresh and crisp textures, offer a refreshing counterpoint to the rich and savory chimichurri steak. They not only add a healthful touch to the meal but also provide a palate-cleansing effect.

  • Caesar Salad: A classic Caesar salad, with its crisp romaine lettuce, creamy dressing, and crunchy croutons, is a great choice. The salad’s creamy and garlicky flavors harmonize with the tangy chimichurri, while the croutons add a pleasing crunch.
  • Arugula Goat Cheese Salad: This salad combines the peppery bite of arugula with the creamy tang of goat cheese, creating a delightful mix of flavors and textures. The sharpness of the arugula contrasts nicely with the rich steak, and the goat cheese adds a luxurious feel. Toss in some toasted nuts or a light vinaigrette to enhance the salad’s complexity.
  • Blackberry Goat Cheese Salad: For a more adventurous option, try a blackberry goat cheese salad. The sweet and tart blackberries, combined with the creamy goat cheese, create a unique flavor profile. This salad not only adds a pop of color to your plate but also introduces a fruity element that pairs surprisingly well with the savory steak. A drizzle of balsamic glaze can tie all the components together beautifully.

Rice and Grains

Rice and grains offer a delightful and versatile complement to chimichurri steak, bringing both texture and flavor to the meal.

  • Jasmine Rice: Jasmine rice, known for its fragrant aroma and delicate flavor, serves as an excellent base for chimichurri steak. Its subtle sweetness and slightly sticky texture make it an ideal counterpart to the bold and zesty chimichurri sauce. The rice absorbs the sauce’s flavors, ensuring that each bite is infused with the herbaceous and tangy notes of the chimichurri. For an aromatic twist, consider adding a bay leaf or a pinch of saffron to the rice while cooking.
  • Lemon Herb Couscous: Lemon herb couscous is a light and fluffy option that pairs wonderfully with chimichurri steak. The citrusy zing of lemon and the freshness of herbs like parsley or cilantro in the couscous complement the steak’s rich flavors. This side dish is not only easy to prepare but also adds a Mediterranean flair to the meal. For added texture, mix in some chopped nuts or raisins.
  • Quinoa Salad: A quinoa salad is a nutritious and colorful choice. Quinoa’s nutty flavor and crunchy texture contrast nicely with the tender steak. Mix the quinoa with vibrant ingredients like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, and dress it with a light vinaigrette to enhance its flavors. This salad adds a healthful and satisfying element to the meal, making it a great choice for those seeking a balanced diet.

Vegetable Sides

Vegetable sides are a fantastic way to add color, nutrition, and variety to a chimichurri steak meal.

  • Green Beans: Green beans, when cooked right, offer a crisp and fresh addition to the meal. Sauté them with garlic and a sprinkle of almonds for a crunchy and flavorful side. The beans’ natural brightness and crunch provide a lovely contrast to the steak’s richness. For an extra zing, add a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
  • Grilled Asparagus: Grilled asparagus is a simple yet elegant side that complements the steak beautifully. The grilling process enhances the asparagus’s natural flavors, adding a slight smokiness and a charred exterior that pairs well with the chimichurri. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper for a minimalist approach, or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for a cheesy twist.
  • Creamed Spinach: Creamed spinach is a classic steakhouse side that adds a luxurious touch to the meal. The creamy texture and rich flavor of the spinach balance the tangy chimichurri sauce. This side dish is not only comforting but also adds a dose of greens to your plate. For a richer version, incorporate a bit of cream cheese or a dash of nutmeg to the spinach.

Unique Side Dishes

To elevate the chimichurri steak experience, incorporating unique side dishes can add an element of surprise and delight to the meal. These sides, while unconventional, harmonize beautifully with the steak, offering a memorable dining experience.

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles):

  • Zucchini noodles, or ‘zoodles’, are a fantastic, health-conscious alternative to traditional pasta. They provide a light and refreshing complement to the rich flavors of chimichurri steak. Zoodles can be quickly sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper, maintaining their crisp texture and mild flavor. This side dish not only adds a vibrant visual appeal to the plate but also offers a low-carb option that doesn’t compromise on taste. For an extra burst of flavor, toss the zoodles in a light dressing or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Blooming Onion:

  • A blooming onion is a show-stopping side dish that is as delicious as it is visually impressive. This deep-fried delight features a whole onion cut to resemble a flower, battered, and fried to golden perfection. The crispy, savory petals of the onion make for an indulgent and satisfying accompaniment to the chimichurri steak. Serve it with a tangy dipping sauce to complement the bold flavors of the steak and chimichurri.

Herbed Flatbread with Whipped Feta:

  • Herbed flatbread paired with whipped feta cheese offers a Mediterranean twist to the meal. The flatbread, infused with herbs like rosemary or thyme, provides a warm, aromatic base that pairs excellently with the creamy and tangy whipped feta. This combination not only adds a different texture to the meal but also a burst of fresh, herby flavors that contrast nicely with the steak. The whipped feta can be seasoned with lemon zest or a drizzle of olive oil for an extra layer of flavor. This side dish is not just a complement to the steak but a standout item on its own.

FAQs About What to Serve With Chimichurri Steak

What are the best side dishes for chimichurri steak?

The best side dishes for chimichurri steak are those that complement its rich and tangy flavors without overpowering it. Classic choices like mashed potatoes and French fries offer a comforting and familiar taste that pairs well with the boldness of the steak. For a healthier option, roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots add a sweet and earthy dimension to the meal. If you’re looking for something lighter, salads such as Caesar or arugula goat cheese provide a fresh and crisp contrast. For those who enjoy grains, jasmine rice or lemon herb couscous can be delightful, as they absorb the flavors of the chimichurri while adding their own subtle notes to the dish. Each of these sides brings its unique qualities to the table, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Can I pair chimichurri steak with salads?

Absolutely! Salads are a fantastic pairing with chimichurri steak. They add a light and refreshing element to the meal, balancing the richness of the steak. A Caesar salad, with its creamy dressing and crunchy croutons, offers a classic touch. For a more unique flavor, an arugula goat cheese salad brings together the peppery taste of arugula with the creamy tang of goat cheese, creating a sophisticated blend of flavors. A blackberry goat cheese salad is another excellent choice, introducing a sweet and fruity component that surprisingly complements the savory steak. These salads not only provide a balance of flavors but also add a colorful and nutritious aspect to your meal.

What are some low-carb options for sides with chimichurri steak?

For those following a low-carb diet, there are plenty of delicious side options to enjoy with chimichurri steak. Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are a popular choice, offering a pasta-like experience without the carbs. They are light, versatile, and absorb the flavors of the dish well. Grilled asparagus or green beans are other excellent options, providing a crunchy and flavorful addition to the steak. For a unique twist, try a blooming onion or herbed flatbread with whipped feta, which, while not strictly low-carb, offer a delightful change from traditional sides. These low-carb sides ensure that you can enjoy a full and satisfying meal without compromising on taste or dietary preferences.

In conclusion, when serving chimichurri steak, the possibilities for side dishes are endless. Whether you prefer classic pairings like mashed potatoes and French fries or are looking to experiment with salads and unique vegetable sides, the key is to balance the flavors and textures to complement the boldness of the chimichurri. With these pairings, your chimichurri steak meal is sure to be a delightful culinary adventure.

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