Gremolata is an Italian accompaniment that is a flavorful addition to pasta, vegetables, fish, chicken and more! The classic combination includes garlic, parsley, and lemon, but there are a number of gremolata variations. Fresh and colorful, it takes just 5 minutes to elevate a dish from basic to outstanding!
For years I didn’t realize that gremolata was a fresh mix of a few basic ingredients that created a recipe in itself. I have always enjoyed the added dose of color and flavor as an addition to dishes. Even the most basic foods (like noodles) topped with gremolata go from basic to amazing!
What is Gremolata?
Gremolata is an Italian accompaniment that is a flavorful addition to pasta, vegetables and more! It’s a delicious way to enhance a dish, adding bright flavor and a bit of color. In other words, it’s the quintessential Italian condiment!
A classic gremolata recipe requires just 4 ingredients:
- Garlic – fresh cloves or minced in a jar both work well
- Parsley – fresh parsley will offer the most flavor and best texture
- Lemon Zest – use fresh lemon zest for amazing texture and flavor
- Pine Nuts
Individually, any of the above ingredients add flavor, but collectively you can take any dish from basic to outstanding!
But the beauty of gremolata is in its versatility. You can create your favorite combination of ingredients to make a one of a kind dish! Additional ingredients can include:
- Mint – you can use your favorite mint including sweet mint or spearmint
- Olive Oil – use a good extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor
- Anchovy – canned or fresh, either work well
- Nuts – I like to use pine nuts, but walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews also taste great
- Orange Zest – offers incredible flavor, especially for robust meat sauces like beef ragu!
How to Make Gremolata
- Chop and grate any of the above ingredients and combine well. If using nuts, press with the back of a spoon to mash.
A Little Note on Lemon and Orange Zest
Zest comes from the outer rind of citrus fruit like lemons and oranges. The rind or peel is filled with aromatic oils. To get the best of your zest, use a zester for fine zest (paring knife or vegetable peeler work well for cocktails) to remove the colorful portion of the rind. But be careful not to remove the white pith, which is bitter.
A Few of My Favorite Uses for this Italian Condiment
Gremolata can be topped on just about any recipe, especially those that have been cooking for a long time. A few of my favorite uses include:
- Topping it on some of my favorite recipes like Ina Garten’s green beans, steak, osso buco, Artichoke Spaghetti, and Braised Beef.
- Tossing noodles with just olive oil and gremolata for an easy, yet flavorful dish!
- Mixing it with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar to make an incredible homemade salad dressing! Serve it on a bed of mixed greens or arugula with shaved parmesan.
How to Store Gremolata
The homemade gremolata recipe can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several days.
If you have any leftover, use it on any of the below dishes:
- osso buco
- braised beef
- roasted artichoke
- green beans
- to dip bread with olive oil
Some Pasta Recipes to Top With Gremolata:
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 1/4 c parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/8 c pine nuts crushed