gremolata also called gremolada is an “Italian chopped herb condiment or dressing made with lemon zest, chopped parsley, and garlic. It is traditionally served with meat or fish for vegetables, pasta dishes and salads.
This simple gremolata recipe is made with just three ingredients and can be enjoyed
You’ll just need three simple ingredients to make gremolata:
1) Fresh Parsley
Specifically, flat-leaf parsley is the way to go here. The trick is to wash and pat dry the parsley before using so it doesn’t clump together once chopped.
2) Lemon Zest
Lemon zest adds a jolt of brightness to our gremolata. If possible, use an organic lemon for gremolata since the peels of conventional lemons are typically exposed to pesticides.
One medium clove of garlic brings complexity and heat to this simple garnish. The key is to use fresh garlic, never jarred minced garlic. Use your garlic press or finely mince the garlic by hand.
While parsley, lemon and garlic yield classic gremolata flavor, you can absolutely play with your ingredients. Here are some ideas:
- Try adding some fresh mint or basil to the mix
- Substitute orange or lime or even grapefruit zest for the lemon
- Stir in olive oil and salt, to taste, to transform this dry condiment into an herbal sauce
- Add toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds or grated Parmesan
- Substitute cilantro and lime for a variation that will suit Mexican meals
HOW TO MAKE GREMOLATA
Making this gremolata sauce couldn’t be easier! Finely chop the parsley, then toss with minced garlic and lemon zest. Really, that’s it!
Classic Italian gremolada !!
- 1 small bunch parsley, washed and dried (enough to make 1 cup loosely-packed) (1 cup packed, tender stems OK)
- 1 clove garlic, papery skin removed pressed or minced
- zest of 2 lemons washed and well dried
- pinch salt and black cracked pepper
- Prep the parsley: Remove the leaves from the parsley — enough to make 1 cup when very loosely packed.
- Chop the parsley: Chop the parsley with a chef's knife until it is nearly finely chopped. It should be less than 1/2 cup.
- Add the garlic: Using a Microplane or fine-toothed grater, grate the garlic clove over the parsley.
- Add the lemon: Using the same grater (don't bother to wash it), grate just the zest from the two lemons on top of the garlic.
- add salt and black cracked pepper
- Bonus: Doing the garlic and lemon in this order will help to rid the Microplane of garlic odors!
- Finish the chopping: Continue to chop the parsley, mixing in the garlic and lemon as you go, until the parsley is chopped very fine.
Top Gremolata Tips :
- You can prepare the Gremolata ahead by a few hours, just cover and keep chilled.
- If you want a finer mix, use a food processor or blender like a Vitamix. Chopping by hand works great and is what I did in the photos you see here in this post.
- Use a few ingredients you have on hand and try some new variations if you wish.
- It’s important that the parsley is completely dry before making homemade gremolata, otherwise you’ll wind up with a saggy sauce.
- Also note that you only want to use the parsley leaves for this gremolata sauce recipe. You can discard the stems or save them for a future recipe.
- When zesting the lemon, be sure to zest only the yellow part of the rind. The white part (called the pith) is very bitter, so you don’t want any to sneak its way into your gremolata.