From the outside, this Italian condiment looks super simple, and it is a snap to make. But make no mistake, this little recipe packs a big punch.. Garlic, lemon, and parsley are the three pillars of this classic component meant for rich braised dishes like osso bucco.
What makes gremolata so spectacular is the herby freshness of the parsley, the spicy zip of the garlic, and the bright and bitter pop of the lemon zest. This trifecta of flavor compliments a variety of dishes.
Usually, the garlic, lemon and parsley are finely chopped together. Here, I add a bit of olive oil to turn this from sprinkle to drizzle. Feel free to find the texture you like best. You could also swap out the parsley for other greens like basil or tarragon.
1 lemon (use organic if possible since you are using the zest)
1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on size)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
½ c. olive oil
- Wash the lemon in very warm tap water and dry with a towel. Wash the parsley and dry leaves with a towel.
- If you have a microplane, zest the lemon over a bowl and skip to #3.
- If you don’t have a microplane, it is one of the little kitchen tools you will eventually wonder “Where have you been all my life?”. Don’t even get me started on how it turns a hunk of parmesan into a pile of silky cheese clouds. If you don’t have one, no problem. Using a vegetable peeler, gently peel the lemon zest, trying to leave behind as much white pith as possible. Finely chop the lemon zest.
- Pick the parsley leaves off the stems and chop the parsley.
- Peel the garlic and finely chop.
- Put chopped parsley, lemon and garlic on the cutting board together and chop them a few times all together until they become one. Right here, you have the option of stopping. Think of this like a choose your own adventure book. (anyone remember those?). This is the classic, Italian condiment gremolata. Sprinkle away on pasta, braised meats, vegetables, etc. However, if you dare to continue the adventure, continue on.
- Put the gremolata in a blender, food processor, or my go to favorite for little buzz tasks, the nutribullet. Add ½ c. of oil. Blend for 15 seconds or so until everything combines. Use a rubber spatula to transfer to a small bowl.
Component in Action
drizzle, brush, spread, and dip this bright Italian beauty.
- crusty bread
- braised stews and meats
- with fresh mozzarella
- over roasted fish
- add lemon juice for a zippy dressing to drizzle over tomatoes
- use as a marinade
- in meatballs or burgers
What is your favorite way to use gremolata? (comment below)
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