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What is Gremolata?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 16, 2024
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Gremolata, which is also spelled “gremolada,” is a condiment that is traditionally served with Ossobucco alla Milanese, an Italian dish of braised veal shank. It is a chopped herb condiment made of garlic, parsley, and lemon peel. Although it is a common accompaniment to veal, the citrus element makes it a wonderful addition to seafood dishes.

Here is a very simple recipe:

Required Materials:

1 small bunch of flat-leafed parsley
1 large clove of garlic
1 lemon
Black pepper


1) Wash and dry the parsley. Finely chop enough to yield two tablespoons
2) Mince the garlic.
3) Grate the peel of the lemon until you have produced one teaspoon of zest.
4) Mix all of the above in a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Many chefs like to prepare the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle to ensure that the flavors of each ingredient mingle before the gremolata is served.

Note: If you plan on serving gremolata with fish or other seafood, consider seasoning it with sea salt rather than basic table salt. Also, freshly ground black peppercorns are preferable to basic table pepper.

Gremolata is a very basic condiment and can be altered to make it go perfectly with many main entrees. The lemon zest, for example, can be replaced with orange zest for a slightly sweeter product. If you want to add some more texture and flavor, consider adding very finely chopped nuts such as hazelnuts or walnuts. Capers go very well with salmon and often compliment smoked salmon, which is also known as lox. They can also be added to gremolata that is intended for a salmon entree. Note that capers are usually packed in brine; you may not need to add any extra salt if you use capers.

Some chefs add finely chopped mint to their gremolata, or completely replace the parsley with mint. As lamb is often complimented with mint condiments, this type goes very well with lamb. If it's intended for lamb, consider adding a dash of white sugar or simple syrup to bring out the sweetness of the mint. A wonderful way to update a gourmet lamb dinner is to prepare this condiment to be served instead of bright green mint jelly.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By motherteresa — On Feb 05, 2011

Gremolata sauce is not really a sauce, but rather dry ingredients,each with their unique flavor, mixed together and sprinkled sparingly over oso buco.

By calabama71 — On Aug 18, 2010

@oceanswimmer: I have used gremolata in an asparagus recipe. It is really delicious. You would need about 2 lbs. asparagus (trimmed), a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, 6 cloves garlic (crushed), zest of two lemons, ½ cup pitted green olives, and ½ cup parsley.

Simmer some salted water and cook the asparagus for 5 minutes. Drain it and then place the asparagus on a platter. Drizzle some olive oil over it.

While the asparagus is cooking, make your gremolata out of the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, and olives. Chop all of the ingredients well. Sprinkle the gremolata paste on the hot asparagus and serve.

By OceanSwimmer — On Aug 18, 2010

Does gremolata go well with any vegetables?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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