Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to Make Gremolata and Recipe Ideas for Using Gremolata

Gremolata can bring the fresh-herb flavors of summer to your food all year round!

Anyone who's been following my blog for a while already knows that I'm a fresh herb enthusiast!  If you're a cook who's discovered the wonderful way that cooking with fresh herbs can enhance the flavor of foods without adding fat or calories, then it won't be hard to understand why I think everyone should learn how to make Gremolata.  This simple but profound combination of finely minced fresh lemon peel, minced fresh garlic, and minced fresh parsley adds freshness and a little zing to any food you sprinkle it on.  I used it recently to add that extra something to a pasta dish (recipe coming!) and I wasn't sure if Gremolata needed a post of its own, but when I mentioned it to several friends and family members, I discovered that this simple herb combination is not something everyone knows about!  So this post is my Gremolata Public Service Announcement for everyone who hasn't discovered it yet.  And best of all, in the dead of winter when fresh herbs are expensive and hard to come by, you can always get lemons, garlic, and fresh parsley to make this and bring a touch of summer to your cooking. 

Gremolata is one of those herb mixtures like Basil Pesto where you can certainly adapt the proportions to your own taste, but Jake and I experimented with the amounts a few times on this recipe for a combination we thought was just right.  If you're extra fond of lemon, garlic, or parsley you can always use a little more of one ingredient in your version.

Start with a nice fresh lemon (preferably organic) and use your sharpest vegetable peeler to shave off the skin.  (Squeeze the juice and freeze it for later!)

Then use your sharpest chef's knife to finely mince the lemon peel.  Also mince the fresh parsley and garlic.  (Wonderful knife skills of Jake are being demonstrated here.)

This photo shows you the proportions of garlic, lemon, and Parsley that we thought made a good combination.

The mix together the finely minced lemon peel, garlic, and parsley to make your Gremolata.  Sprinkle over meat, fish, chicken, pasta, vegetables, or just about any food where you'd like a burst of fresh flavor.  Gremolata is also sometimes made with mint, basil, or even cilantro  if you'd like to experiment with those herbs.

Gremolata Recipe
(Makes about 5 tablespoons; Gremolata will keep in the fridge for a day, but it's best freshly made.) 

1 fresh lemon, preferably organic
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, either flat Italian parsley or regular curly parsley
2-3 cloves garlic

Proportions We Liked Best:
(All proportions in this recipe are too taste, but these amounts are what Jake and I thought were just right.)
1 T finely minced lemon peel
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
2 tsp. finely minced garlic

Using a very sharp vegetable peeler, peel the lemon, taking care not to get the white part that's right under the peel.  (Squeeze the lemon and freeze the juice.)  Using your sharpest chef's knife, finely mince the lemon peel until you have 1 tablespoon finely minced lemon peel.

Wash the parsley if needed and spin dry with salad spinner, or dry with paper towels.  Mince the parsley until you have 1/4 cup finely minced parsley.

Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife to break them apart, then finely mince the garlic until you have 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic.

Combine the finely minced lemon peel, parsley, and garlic in a small bowl and use to sprinkle over cooked fish, chicken, vegetables, pasta, or other foods.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Gremolata is a great way to flavor foods without any added fat or calories, and it would be a perfect condiment for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.   (Gremolata would have very minimal calories and no fat.)

Gremolata with Meat, Chicken, or Fish:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Broiled Sardines with Gremolata ~ The Kitchn
Beef Stew with Gremolata ~ Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Mark Bittman's Osso Buco with Gremolata ~ Kahakai Kitchen
Gremolata-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Relish ~ We Heart Food
Grilled Chicken with Gremolata ~ Dinner du Jour

Vegetarian Uses for Gremolata:
Spaghetti with Cauliflower, Chile, and Parsley Gremolata ~ TasteFood
Roasted Carrots and Olive with Shallots and Gremolata Proud Italian Cook
Easy and Amazing Roasted Asparagus with Gremolata ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Orchiette with Garlic Scapes, Ricotta, and Gremolata ~ Herbivoracious
Savory Rolls with Olives and Parsley Gremolata ~ Cookin' Canuck
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. I'm a huge fan of gremolata, which I make every summer with parsley and garlic from my garden. I love to use it on fish and grilled chicken, and sometimes as a sauce for pasta.

  2. Lydia, it doesn't surprise me that you would like it!

  3. I don't believe that I've ever heard of gremolata before. What a great idea! I could see using it for the same things that Lydia does, and for your latest recipe, too. Thanks for the introduction, Kalyn. I have to admit that I don't often buy fresh parsley, but I will from now on. ;-)


  4. Shirley, you MUST make Gremolata. It's the perfect topping for so many foods (and gluten-free!)

  5. Do You think you could freeze this in small portions like you can with pesto? I make Pesto every year and freeze it in ice cube trays for the winter use of my home grown basil. I wonder if this would freeze successfully as well?

  6. I made gremolata years ago, but forgotten about it - so glad to see it here - I think it would be great on grilled chicken. It's warming up finally so hoping to start grilling soon.

  7. Peascod, I haven't tried freezing, but I bet it will work.

    Jeanette, can't wait to grill!


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