While flame-grilled churrasco meats are delicious on their own, Brazilians like to pair them with a variety of sauces and dips. From chimichurri for a perfect flank steak, to a garlicky mayonnaise for veggies and chicken, there are many fresh and delicious options to choose from. One you may not have heard of is vinagrete. Also known as molho campanha, this condiment is similar to Mexican pico de gallo. It makes a refreshing and zesty topping for chicken, fish, and beef dishes.
Why is Brazilian Salsa Called “Vinagrete”?
In America and many other parts of the world, “vinaigrette” is synonymous with a kind of dressing that incorporates vinegar and oil. This is precisely why Brazilians call their salsa dip “vinagrete.”
Unlike salsa or pico de gallo, which use lime juice as a binder, Brazilians use white wine vinegar and olive oil. As a rule, Brazilians have a tendency to name their salads based off of the main binding ingredient. For example, “maionese” is a broad category of salads using mayo as the binder.
Do You Have to Eat Vinagrete With Meat?
Certainly not! In fact, vinagrete is often eaten with crusty french bread or crackers, similar to Italian bruschetta. It is also commonly paired with feijoada, a black bean stew. The stew is traditionally made with a variety of meats, but you can just as easily exclude these in favor of vegan sausages or more vegetables to bulk it out.
Is Vinagrete Salsa Spicy?
Brazilian pico de gallo uses bell peppers, so it is not spicy at all! If you prefer a little more heat, you can certainly add a teaspoon or two of minced jalapeno or serranos, or a dash of cayenne. Overall, though, the flavors of vinagrete are meant to be mild, zesty, and crisp. It is often thought of as a tomato “coleslaw,” since it is cooling, crunchy, and a little tangy.
Cilantro vs Parsley for Brazilian Vinagrete
Traditional vinagrete calls for parsley rather than cilantro. Brazilians use parsley in quite a few recipes, since it has a mild yet noticeably herbaceous flavor. But you can certainly substitute the parsley in this recipe for an equal amount of fresh or dried cilantro.
Brazilian Pico de Gallo Recipe (Vinagrete)
3 large tomatoes
1 large white onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
¼ cup whole green olives (optional)
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
¼ cup white wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt (or more, to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
- Dice your onion, tomatoes, and peppers and place in a medium bowl. Add in the parsley.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together your white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle your dressing over the vegetables and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Pour in a serving dish and top with fresh parsley and a few whole green olives.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Other Delicious Summer Brazilian Recipes to Try:
- Paleo-Friendly Mashed Potatoes (Yuca Mash)
- Slow-Cooker Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)
- Brazilian Chicken Salad (Salpicao de Frango)
Where to Find Churrasco Near You
You can now have premium churrasco meats delivered right to your door. Visit Texas de Brazil’s online Butcher Shop to select your hand-curated box or choose from a la carte options. Or, you can visit one of our 50+ locations nationwide and let our professional gaucho chefs do the cooking for you.