Flavor up soups, salads, pastas, and bread with this easy gremolata recipe. It’s a delicious, easy-to-make blend of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic!
What is Gremolata?
Today we’re letting parsley shine in all of its herby, flavorful glory with this gremolata recipe. For the uninitiated, this is is a delicious parsley, garlic, and lemon zest dish that can be used as a dressing or garnish! It’s perfect for adding to many different types of dishes for extra flavor.
With just three ingredients, you’ll just chop and grate everything into very small pieces, which makes it perfect for sneaking into every bite of the dish it’s added to.
What does Gremolata taste like?
As you may guess, gremolata tastes like garlic and lemon juice with a hint of earthy herbiness. The garlic and lemon contain potent flavors and are complemented by the mildness of the parsley!
Where does gremolata originate?
Gremolata is a traditional Italian recipe! It’s part of the Mediterranean cuisine and for years has been used to add flavor to meat dishes as well as soups, salads, stews, and even bread. (Yes, you can totally put this on top of your favorite thick bread for a delicious herby garlic spread!)
Ingredients Used in this recipe
Gremolata can be made with ingredients that are likely sitting right inside your fridge and pantry. Only three items are needed, making it a simple condiment that you can enjoy in as soon as 5 minutes!
- Parsley: This recipe begins with 1 cup of loosely packed Italian flat parsley. (The difference between Italian and curly parsley here.)
- Lemon: Use one lemon for its zest. I recommend keeping the rest of the lemon in the fridge to use the juice later on a delicious pasta! (Gremolata pasta, anyone?!)
- Garlic: Finally, finish up the dish with 1 clove of garlic. Powder won’t work for this recipe, as we want the zingy flavor of a fresh clove!
Interested in adding more flavor to your gremolata? Adding a good, high-quality olive oil will give it more of a sauce consistency while adding flavor. You can also add some crunch with pine nuts or a bit of heat with chili flakes.
How to make Gremolata
This gremolata recipe is ready in as little as 5 minutes. With a recipe that quick, it’s the perfect addition for nearly any dinner! Grab a cutting board, knife, and grater – let’s get started.
Step 1: Prepare the parsley
First, remove the thick stems from the parsley, and then wash and thoroughly dry the leaves. Finely chop – it should reduce down to about 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley.
Step 2: Prepare the garlic.
Simply grate the garlic with a cheese or kitchen grater.
Grate the garlic and then the lemon to make cleaning your grater easier. The lemon juices will help flush out that sticky garlic!
Step 3: Prepare the lemon
Wash and dry the lemon, and then zest just the yellow portion. Avoid grating any of the white pith layer, which can be bitter.
Step 4: Chop the ingredients
Transfer the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest to a cutting board to mix everything by chopping it together. Boom, you now have gremolata!
How to Zest a Lemon
To zest a lemon, you can go the easy route with a cheese grater or potato peeler! If you don’t have those tools on deck, a good old kitchen knife will do. Lightly graze the outer layer of the lemon to remove the peel. As mentioned above, try not to get too deep into the white part!
Note: Because lemons are often treated with a wax coating, remember to give them a hearty wash before zesting.
Gremolata vs. Chimichurri vs. Pesto
Though gremolata looks similar to chimichurri, the two are totally different! Where gremolata uses lemons and garlic, chimichurri is made with olive oil and vinegar. The latter is much more liquid and can be flavored with everything from shallots and cilantro to oregano and jalapeños.
Pesto also has a more saucy consistency than gremolata, and has more savory flavors. Pesto is a mix of basil, parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil.
How to use gremolata
Now that your gremolata recipe is ready to go, you need something to enjoy it with! Try the sauce incorporated into one of these dishes.
- Take this Vegan Garlic Bread up a notch by adding a gremolata spread on top!
- A light sprinkle makes this Stuffed Egglant Parmesan so delicious!
- Add lemon gremolata to Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce for extra zing and flavor.
- Or use this gremolata as a pasta sauce on these Lemony Gremolata Noodles!
- Sprinkle it over Tuscan White Bean Soup
- 1 cup loosely packed Italian flat parsley about ½ a bunch
- 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- Parsley: Remove thick stems from parsley. Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves. Finely chop – you should end up with about ½ cup of finely chopped parsley.
- Garlic: Finely grate the garlic.
- Lemon: Wash and dry the lemon, then zest just the yellow portion (avoid grating any of the white pith layer, which can be bitter).
- Chop: Transfer parsley, garlic, and lemon zest to a cutting board to mix it all by chopping it together.