Fresh Gremolata: A Burst of Flavor

Gremolata
megan.chromik/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Gremolata is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley and olive oil. Traditionally an addition to ​osso bucco (braised veal shanks), it is also great as a garnish on grilled or roasted lamb, pork chops, beef and even roasted potatoes. Gremolata is best made fresh. It doesn't keep for more than a day. It tastes best if it is made an hour or so before serving to allow the flavors to meld. It only takes about 5 minutes to make. 

What You'll Need

  • Zest of one large lemon*
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic; crushed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon 
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Thoroughly combine the lemon zest, garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

*Note: Lemon zest is the outer yellow peel of a lemon. When zesting a lemon, be careful not to include any of the white pith below the skin because it's bitter. You can use a vegetable peeler to cut strips of peel and then finely chop them, but the best tool for the job is a microplane grater.

About Parsley

This ubiquitous​ herb is often found on your plate as a simple garnish in a fine restaurant, possibly because it is thought to aid in digestion. It is one of the most popular herbs in the world. Its name comes from the Greek word meaning "rock celery." It's a perennial herb that's easy to grow in your own garden, can grow to 2 feet tall and likes partial shade. It can either have curly or flat leaves.  Parsley is very low in calories; 3.5 ounces have 36 calories, alomost nothing. This small number of calories contains a whopping 3 grams of fiber and 6 total grams of carbohydrate. This unassuming herb is an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins K, C and A and folate.

Parsley is best when fresh. A good bunch is dark green with leaves that are crisp and fresh-looking. Fresh parsley is available year-round in the grocery store. Keep it in the fridge in a plastic bag until you are ready to use it.

Besides a plate garnish, parsley is used in pesto sauce, tabouli, as a dry rub when combined with lemon zest and garlic, in soups and sprinkled over grilled fish. It's combined with thyme and bay leaves to make bouquet garni, which is used in stews and soups. Add it to dips for color and a fresh flavor.