Gremolata: A Classic Italian Condiment

Quick gremolata recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
39 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 39
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 57mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 52mg 4%
*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 condiment 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
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  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
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  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
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  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.
  • To quickly dry the parsley, 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. If done before zesting the lemon, the lemon will "clean 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.