Gremolata is super simple, but packs some amazing flavor. This recipe is so delicious that some of us have smuggled it in with us when we had to eat at a chain pizzeria, and sprinkled it onto our pizzas to give them extra life and vibrancy.
As with most things, not all gremolata is created equal. If you don’t get the right balance of lemon, garlic, and parsley, it falls flat. It’s also super important in this recipe not to use a microplane to get your lemon zest. The resulting zest is too fine and fluffy, and loses its bite; for better results, you want tiny, solid chunks of zest. Similarly, don’t use a food processor for the parsley; mince it by hand to get the right texture.
Note: traditional gremolata only contains parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. If you want yours to be ultra-traditional, omit the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper.
- 1 bunch parsley (or about 1 cup once it's minced)
- 4 medium garlic cloves (note: I love garlic, so reduce this if you don’t!)
- 1 lemon
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut several inches of the 1 bunch of parsley stems off the bottom, and discard. Roughly mince the remaining, leafy part of the parsley.
- Peel the 4 garlic cloves. Finely mince.
- Using a knife (not a microplane), slice off only the outer yellow layer of the lemon’s peel, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. Next, very finely mince the yellow peel.
- Juice the lemon.
- Mix together the minced parsley, garlic, and lemon zest along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste.
- Taste the gremolata. Add more salt, pepper, olive oil, or lemon juice as needed.