What is Gremolata?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Garlic is an ingredient of gremolata.
Garlic is an ingredient of gremolata.

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

Directions:

Parsley is often used to make gremolata.
Parsley is often used to make gremolata.

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.

Lemon peel is used in a gremolata.
Lemon peel is used in a gremolata.

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.

Gremolata with capers is a nice complement to smoked salmon, or lox.
Gremolata with capers is a nice complement to smoked salmon, or lox.

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.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for DelightedCooking, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for DelightedCooking, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

motherteresa

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

calabama71

@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.

OceanSwimmer

Does gremolata go well with any vegetables?

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    • Garlic is an ingredient of gremolata.
      By: Schlierner
      Garlic is an ingredient of gremolata.
    • Parsley is often used to make gremolata.
      By: Barbara Pheby
      Parsley is often used to make gremolata.
    • Lemon peel is used in a gremolata.
      By: Lilyana Vynogradova
      Lemon peel is used in a gremolata.
    • Gremolata with capers is a nice complement to smoked salmon, or lox.
      By: PhotoEd
      Gremolata with capers is a nice complement to smoked salmon, or lox.
    • Sea salt is generally added when making gremolata.
      By: uwimages
      Sea salt is generally added when making gremolata.
    • In lieu of the traditional mint sauce, roasted lamb chops can be served with gremolata.
      By: sattriani
      In lieu of the traditional mint sauce, roasted lamb chops can be served with gremolata.