Mediterranean Olive & Bay Leaf Chimichurri with Fried Lemon Peels And Chilies

Makes 1 cup

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A lovely take on Chimichurri, with fried lemon peels and bay leave to intoxicate  with Mediterranean flavors.  Excellent on steak and fish.


2-3 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 medium shallot, chopped fine 1 fresh red chili pepper, chopped ( deseeded and de-pithed for less heat) 3-4 fresh bay leaves 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest ( peeled and sliced to make thin strips) ¾ cup mixed olives, seeded and chopped coarsely 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked 2-3 tablespoons red wine  vinegar


Heat the olive oil in  a large cast iron pan on medium heat.  Add the garlic, shallots, chilies, bay leaves and lemon zest and sauté until the garlic and shallots begin to brown.  Turn up the heat and cook on high for a few minutes, stirring until the lemon peels start to get crisp.  Turn off the heat and add the olives and oregano.  Season with salt and pepper and add the red wine vinegar.  Let stand about 2o minutes before serving at ambient temperature.