Gremolata: A Classic Italian Condiment

Quick gremolata recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 53mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 7mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gremolata is an Italian recipe made from finely minced parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. It adds brightness and freshness to dishes like braised meats that might otherwise be a bit heavy or one-note in flavor. Gremolata is traditionally served with veal, especially the classic braised veal dish osso buco, but it also goes well with lamb and is an excellent accompaniment to fish and seafood dishes.

For a true gremolata, the parsley and garlic need to be chopped pretty finely. You might be tempted to toss all the ingredients in a food processor, but the machine will turn the parsley into a wet, stringy mess and will rip up the garlic, causing it to release sulfur-based compounds that produce intense heat and a bitter flavor. Although more time-consuming and labor-intensive, it is best to chop the herb and garlic with a sharp knife.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gremolata recipe
    The Spruce
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry the parsley.

    Wash and dry parsley
    The Spruce 
  3. Remove the leaves and finely mince them using a sharp knife until you have about 2 tablespoons worth.

    Chop parsley
    The Spruce
  4. Finely mince the garlic.

    Remove garlic
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  5. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

    Combine ingredients in a bowl
    The Spruce
  6. To help release all of the flavors, pound the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle or use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass.

    Use mortar and pestle
    The Spruce
  7. Serve as a garnish on meat or fish and enjoy.

Tips

  • Since the garlic is eaten raw, it's important that you use the freshest possible. Make sure it is not sprouted, yellowed, or browning. The clove should be firm and free of any soft spots.
  • It's important that the parsley is completely dry before chopping. To quickly dry the herb, shake the leaves, and then roll the parsley in a paper towel. Let it sit for a minute or two to absorb the water.
  • When zesting citrus, make sure to only remove the colorful outer skin and not the white layer underneath. The white pith is bitter tasting and will ruin the dish.
  • If you prefer finer pieces of garlic, you can use a microplane or grater instead of mincing with a knife. Do this before zesting the lemon, so the lemon "cleans away" any garlic smell from the tool.

Recipe Variations

  • With the addition of a decent amount of good olive oil, this gremolata becomes a terrific marinade.
  • Adding both olive oil and a splash of flavored vinegar will turn the condiment into a refreshing salad dressing.
  • Gremolata is a lot like pesto, and just as there are variations of pesto, you can get creative with your gremolata as well. Try substituting different greens for the parsley, like basil, cilantro, mint, or spinach. Some chopped scallions, ground peanuts, or even fresh horseradish can flavor the condiment in different ways.

Ways to Use

In addition to adding brightness to braised meats, Gremolata is also delicious sprinkled over poached eggs, roasted vegetables, and grilled fish. It can be spread under the skin of a roasted chicken, tossed into potato or pasta salad, and used as a topping for avocado toast. Gremolata would also be a wonderful flavoring for asparagus risotto and white bean salad.

How to Store

The Gremolata will keep in the refrigerator for seven to 10 days in an airtight container.