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Gremolata

Gremolata is a savory, verdant green, parsley-based condiment originating from Italy. It’s pleasantly bitter and garlicky, with a fresh citrus bite. Although there are only a few modest ingredients and a couple of simple steps for making gremolata, it packs a good bit of “wow” factor. The robust flavor of gremolata has the power to elevate many meat, seafood and pasta dishes, as well as stews or roasted or stemmed vegetables. I’m willing to bet that you have at least a handful of dishes on rotation that could benefit from a good peppering of gremolata.

Pass the Gremolata Please!

The best review I’ve heard for gremolata was from a client a few years back. I was serving a short rib ragu over polenta with several complimentary condiments, gremolata being one of them. The client glanced with skepticism at the little stoneware bowl containing what looked like nothing more than some unassuming chopped parsley. Despite his disbelief that the flavor of his dish could benefit from more than a few shavings of parmesan, he scattered a healthy spoonful of gremolata atop the ragu. At first bite, he blurted out almost involuntarily, “Oh my god, I’m gonna sprinkle that shi%*!@# on everything!”

Need I say more?

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Gremolata


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  • Author: Asha
  • Yield: 3/4 cup 1x

Description

Yields ¾ cup gremolata


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium to large bunch of fresh, flat leaf, Italian parsley, washed, dried, and finely chopped
  • 12 teaspoons of lemon zest (or other citrus zest)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, pressed or grated using a microplane

Instructions

1. Add the chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic to a small serving dish.

2. Toss gently until the ingredients are evenly combined. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking.

3. Serve immediately as an accompaniment to your main or side dish. If not using immediately, cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.

To serve:

Sprinkle that shi%*!@# on everything!

Notes

There are many dishes that benefit from a sprinkling of gremolata, some of my favorites include; ossobuco, roasted bone marrow, ragu, beef stew, grilled chicken, pork Milanese, mussels in white wine sauce, scallop crudo, fried fish, warm buttered egg noodles, roasted butternut squash, stemmed asparagus, and wedge salad, just to name a few.

Traditional Italian gremolata is made with lemon zest. I like to play with the flavor profile and versatility of gremolata by using multiple types of citrus zest. The key to using other types of citrus zest is to use only one type in your recipe. You want to keep the flavor profile clean and simple. The second key is to appropriately pair the type of citrus you use with the dish you are serving. For example, I like to use yuzu or grapefruit zest with raw seafood preparations. I like Buddha’s hand or orange zest in gremolata paired with beef, and classic lemon or Meyer lemon paired with chicken, pork and pasta dishes.

To achieve a refreshing bright parsley flavor with an airy texture there are a few important steps to follow. One, wash your parsley under cold running water to remove dirt and grit. Two, lay your parsley on a clean dish towel or paper towels, and pat dry or air dry thoroughly. Third, finely chop your parsley. Place your chopped parsley in a horizontal mound on another clean, dry dish towel or paper towel. Roll up the parsley in the towel. Gently wring the towel to remove excess moisture and chlorophyll. Unfurl the towel, fluff the parsley and use according to the directions. Do not skip these steps or you may end up with wet, clumpy gremolata that tastes mucky and is swampy green in color.

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