Lemon Fig Chimichurri and Thunderstorms

As I sit here writing, there’s a big storm rolling through. The dogs are sleeping on the couch and there’s a strange comfort to just hang in the kitchen putting together a new recipe.

My two dogs sleeping on the couch
These two love a sleep afternoon on the couch.

Picking herbs in the rain!

We saw the storm coming in on the radar and ran out to take a quick walk, but thunder was crashing overhead, and rain started shortly after we got back to the house. I wasn’t sure if we’d lose power with this one (it’s not uncommon here), so I grabbed a bowl and some scissors, and Beth and I ran back out into the early raindrops to harvest Lemon and Common Thyme from the deck herb boxes, then on to our slowly collapsing barn to gather up some fresh Mint and Greek Oregano, which has pretty much run wild all summer and is now being overtaken by the Bittersweet.

Woods behind our house
The woods behind our yard in Spring. We don’t bother to do much clearing back there!

Bittersweet is an annoyance!

It sounds romantic, but the damn bittersweet (and no, I will NOT give it a capital “B” twice!) has taken over our yard, torn windows out of the barn, removed the door, and is tearing its way through the roof. Last year we ended up with two bouts of bittersweet rash so much worse than poison ivy! We spent days cutting and clearing it from our yard. It had even torn down our wrought iron deck torches and climbed up under an entire section of house shingles as well as tearing down our downspout! This year, since we’d cleared so much, it was at least manageable. We got a few spots here and there, but beyond the barn, and a small stand of Scotch Thistle that grows to 5 feet or more, we’re living in quiet acceptance of the bittersweet, slowly salting it out of our little plot of earth.

A large thistle plant with a bee in the flowers
At least the bees enjoy the thistle!

Time for Chimichurri

But now that the storm is moving its way past us (perhaps with another just on the horizon!), I’m taking time to write down this herb-scented version of Argentinian Pesto or Chimichurri. A great accompaniment to grilled meats, a marinade for anything you’re grilling, and for some, maybe even a dipping sauce for bread, or a dressing on salad or hot pasta. You can actually use it any way you’d use pesto.

We’re making grilled steak tonight, and this is the topping! I’ve put my own twist on it, removing the red pepper flakes and the onion and swapping out the red wine vinegar for fig vinegar, plus my own blend of fresh herbs from the garden. Give it a try, and feel free to use what you have on hand. Where I can, I offered some alternative herbs and flavorings!

Lemon Fig Chimichurri


  • ¼ cup good olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon olive oil
  • 2 TB Fig vinegar (go to an olive oil store and buy both oils and vinegars to experiment with!)
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • ½ cup curly leafed parsley, packed
  • 2 TB (4 sprigs) fresh chopped oregano (I used Greek, you can use what you have!)
  • 2 TB (3 sprigs) fresh chopped mint (I used spearmint, but any mint would be good.)
  • 1 TB fresh chopped thyme (I used a mix of lemon and common)
  • a bunch of fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • A couple good grinds of sea salt
  • A couple grinds of fresh black pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor (I use a mini chopper) and grind until smooth.
  • If you don’t have an electric chopper, you can also just finely chop all ingredients and stir together in a bowl til blended.
  • Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so to allow the flavors to blend.


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