by Bridget O’Donnell

Imagine a homemade meal built around marinated whole-roasted cauliflower, served with a dollop of avocado sauce. Add mashed sweet potato, stuffing made from artisan breads, kale salad tossed with homemade dressing, and a craft beverage (or two). After a short pause, finish the meal with a decadently rich dessert topped with sliced fruit, and a cup of freshly ground coffee (optional).

If I hadn’t been there, I probably wouldn’t be able to imagine it, but here we are months later. While some of the subtle nuances may be missing from my description, the meal made a lasting impression on me. The spread was as colorful as an artist’s palette and full of nutrients and flavor, but they weren’t necessarily pairings I would have thought to make. The meal also isn’t something I could easily (or quickly) replicate, if at all. However, I might be able to replicate the avocado sauce or “magic green sauce” suggested in the Minimalist Baker’s “Whole Roasted Cauliflower” recipe. The sauce seemed to compliment everything we ate that night. However, despite how delicious it tasted with all the plant-forward options on the table, something convinced me it would also go well with grilled steak. The recipe seemed manageable, even with the few modifications made by our host.

JUMP TO RECIPE.” Scroll posthaste to the ingredients and instructions…

Title of Recipe: Magic Green Sauce (10 Minutes!) –

Author of Recipe/Blog/Cookbook: Dana Shultz

What prompted you to check out this recipe? Fresh herbs, including flat-leaf parsley, were available in my CSA’s Pick-Your-Own and we had everything we needed to grill.

What did you like about this recipe?  The sauce vaguely reminded me of pesto (sub. parsley) or guacamole. If I’d read the entire recipe before writing this blog entry, I would’ve known inspiration was drawn from guacamole, Chimichurri and chutney. So, in retrospect, I learned that Chimichurri is an Argentinian condiment traditionally made from parsley, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and a little vinegar. Among its many applications, it’s most commonly used as a marinade or dipping sauce for grilled steak (you don’t say).

The recipe required relatively few ingredients that were easily accessible or already at home. Additionally, the sauce was raw, so prep time and cleanup were reasonable, and more importantly, the ingredients retained their nutrients.

It worked as a dipping sauce for grilled steak, a condiment for turkey burgers, a spread on artisan bread with cheese and with fish. Originally suggested in a vegetarian recipe, I’m not sure why I was surprised that it also worked as a dip for the raw vegetables from my salad. If you’re interested, Whole30 and Just Add Sauce provide additional suggestions for using Chimichurri (sub. magic green sauce). A more involved avocado sauce called “Green Goddess Dressing” can be found in Vegetables Unleased.

What didn’t you like about this recipe? My magic green sauce didn’t taste anything like our host’s. It was flaming-hot and tasted predominantly of parsley! I probably should have asked our host a few more questions. Not quite ready to admit defeat, I made a special trip to the grocery store for a ripe avocado to help cut the heat. Then there was twice as much green sauce.

Favorite recipe (that you tried from the cookbook/website): Magic Green Sauce (made by our host)

Did you alter the recipe or make any substitutions? If so, what were they? Eager to use what I’d picked from the farm, I may have been overzealous when adding the parsley. I omitted cilantro and substituted one serrano pepper for a little less than a tablespoon of frozen diced jalapeno peppers. As a corrective measure, a second avocado was added the next day.

Would you recommend this recipe? Reading about the origin of Chimichurri piqued my interest. For comparison, I’d like to try this recipe again (but a little less liberal on the parsley and hot pepper) next to a more traditional Chimichurri. Like pesto, I’ll consider freezing leftover sauce as ice cubes for use at a later time.

*Spoiler alert – Visit us at the Luau at the Library Saturday, July 30 from 10 am-12 pm to sample a few mocktails and infusions, the highlight of next month’s What’s Cooking Blog.


Websites –

“The Best Whole Roasted Cauliflower (5 Ingredients!)” / Minimalist Baker

“Magic Green Sauce (10 minutes!)” / Minimalist Baker, Dana Schultz.

Minimalist Baker (blog)

“Chimicurri: Famous Sauce of Argentina” / by Bodega Argento, The Real Argentina (blog)

Books –

Just Add Sauce: A Revolutionary Guide to Boosting the Flavor of Everything You Cook / the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. After the What’s Cooking Entry #18 went live, I came across a recipe for Za’atar rubbed chicken with (pg.44).

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes / by Dana Shultz

Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook / José Andrés and Matt Goulding ; photography by Peter Frank Edwards.

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom / Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig; with Chef Richard Bradford; photography by Alexandra Grablewski.

Quick Subject links to the Library catalog:


Cooking (Avocado)


Vegetarian Cooking

Vegan Cooking

*Download the Libby by OverDrive or Hoopla apps on your PC, laptop or mobile device and create an account using your library card to access e-resources.