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Herbal Blends: Gremolata Recipe

This Italian blend, a combination of flat-leaf parsley, garlic and lemon zest, is most often used as a garnish.

| April/May 2012

  • This Italian blend is always prepared from fresh ingredients and is a combination of flat-leaf parsley, garlic and lemon zest.
    Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison

This Italian herbal blend is always prepared from fresh ingredients and is a combination of flat-leaf parsley, garlic and lemon zest. It is most often used as a garnish—the finishing touch to a dish—rather than being cooked in it. Traditionally, it is served over osso buco, however I enjoy gremolata (greh-mōh-lăh-tăh) on any steamed or grilled vegetable, especially with baked potatoes—and as a garnish on pasta or risotto. It enlivens pasta, potato, rice or grain salads, and is also good with fish and fowl. Wait until you taste it on oven-roasted potatoes or winter squash!

Generally, the amounts of the three ingredients are fairly equal, but you may want to use more parsley, and less garlic and lemon zest. I think of this as a peasant-style garnish and sort of rough-chop it; for a more refined garnish, you might finely mince the ingredients. 

Prepare this garnish just before serving. Rough-chop the garlic with a sharp knife. Add parsley and coarsely chop garlic and parsley together.

Add lemon zest and chop just a bit to combine the ingredients. Serve Gremolata Recipe immediately, using it as a last-minute addition to your favorite vegetable dish, or as the tradition—a flavorful garnish for pasta or risotto. GREMOLATA RECIPE MAKES 1/2 CUP

• 2 to 3 cloves garlic
• 1/2 cup parsley leaves
• About 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Susan Belsinger, a longtime contributor to The Herb Companion, co-wrote The Creative Herbal Home (Creative Printing, 2007). 

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