Gremolata

5 from 3 votes

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A simple blend of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest, ready to be added to any number of dishes for a fresh pop of flavor.

Chicken sprinkled with Gremolata on a red plate with rice, greens, and bread.

Gremolata is a simple blend of garlic, herbs (usually parsley), and lemon zest that is added to finish a number of different dishes. It’s primarily used in Italian cooking, and it’s the most amazing fast and simple way to brighten up so many recipes — it’s truly like a little secret weapon in the kitchen!

Making fresh gremolata in bowl.

Gremolata: A simple blend of garlic, parsley and lemon zest, ready to be added to any number of dishes for a fresh pop of flavor.

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What Is Gremolata?

Gremolata (sometimes spelled gremolada) is often served with Osso Buco, the traditional Italian braised veal shank dish. The sparkling flavors of gremolata play very well against the rich, unctuousness of the tender meat. It is often served in Italy with a variety of meat and fish dishes. But it also pairs perfectly with chicken and vegetables. It is a condiment rather than a sauce and usually gets sprinkled on at the end, off the heat, right before serving.

Think of using gremolata in places where you would add a sprinkle of parsley or fresh herbs or a sprinkle of lemon zest or citrus juice. Green beans with gremolata is an excellent side dish!

Adding gremolata to chicken

Gremolata Ingredients

There are only three ingredients in gremolata (plus salt and pepper), so make sure each one is at its peak! The proportions of the garlic, lemon zest, and parsley (or another herb) vary wildly from cook to cook. Some people like a very lemony mixture, others like it more herby. Keep in mind that the garlic is uncooked, so don’t hit that too hard, or it will overpower the other flavors. I like 2 teaspoons of zest, ½ cup minced parsley, and 1 teaspoon finely minced or grated garlic. But you can play around with the ratios as you like.

  • Lemon zest – Make sure you only zest the outer part of the lemon, as the white pith underneath can be bitter. Use a Microplane or a very small toothed grater to grate the zest very finely.
Woman zesting lemon with Microplane over wood cutting board.
  • Garlic – Make sure your garlic is fresh; old garlic can have a bitter flavor. I like to mince the garlic so finely that it almost melts into the other ingredients. You can use a chef’s knife and a cutting board and keep mincing until you have a garlic paste. Or, use a Microplane or a very small toothed grater to grate the garlic very finely.
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley – Obviously, make sure your parsley is nice and fresh. Use flat-leaf or Italian parsley, which has a better flavor and texture than curly parsley. Remove the stems before mincing.
Glass bowls of parsley, lemon zest, and chopped garlic.

Storage

Gremolata should ideally be used the day it is made, but you can store it in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days. The parsley may start to wilt a bit, but if you use it within a couple of days, it will still add that nice pop of fresh flavor!

How to Make Gremolata

  1. Combine the lemon zest, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Use as desired.
Making fresh gremolata in bowl

How to Use Gremolata

Green Beans with Gremolata in frying pan

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5 from 3 votes

Gremolata

A simple blend of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest, ready to be added to any number of dishes for a fresh pop of flavor.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 People
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Ingredients 

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup minced parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove (finely minced or grated on a Microplane)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • A few grinds of freshly ground pepper

Instructions 

  • Prate and prepare all ingredients.
  • Combine the lemon zest, parsley garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Use as desired.

Notes

Think of using gremolata in places where you would add a sprinkle of parsley or fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of lemon zest or citrus juice. 

Nutrition

Calories: 2kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.4g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 0.03g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 75mg, Potassium: 23mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 316IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 0.2mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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