How to Make Gremolata

Gremolata is a refreshing and tasty condiment that traditionally tops a Milanese Osso Bucco, but is excellent served over fish, chicken and lamb. It gives a special touch to steamed or grilled vegetables, casseroles and roasted potatoes. Once you discover the many uses for this citrusy, healthy topping, it’ll become a standby instead of heavy, artery clogging cream sauces.

Most recipes call for a combination of minced parsley, garlic, lemon zest and a bit of olive oil, but other citrus and herbs can be included as desired. Gremolata takes but a few minutes to make in a food processor and not much longer by hand. To allow the layers of flavors to meld, it’s a good idea to make it an hour ahead and allow it to marinate while the rest of dinner is being created. Many variations on a gremolata theme have been included below.

Basic Gremolata

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley

2 garlic cloves

1 lemon

1 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Kosher or sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Wash the parsley and blot dry on a paper towel. Pull the leaves from the larger stems (the small ones can be used). Smash the garlic cloves and remove the peeling. Zest about 1 – 2 tablespoons of peel from the layer with a zester, grater or microplane. Place the first 4 ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until well combined. If making by hand, finely mince ingredients and mix in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1/4 cup. Best when fresh.

Note: Lemon zest is the yellow, outer part of the peeling and has a lovely flavor. The inner, white part of the peel is bitter tasting, so be careful not to grate past the yellow layer. 


Omit the olive oil and mix the rest of the ingredients with 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Gremolata butter is excellent on bruschetta or melted over a juicy steak.

Combine the lemon with orange and/or lime zest for a novel flavor.

Try mixing equal portions of mint leaves with the parsley for lamb and fish.

Add 2 Tablespoons