read, cook, eat: Gremolata

December 11, 2011

Gremolata on Osso Bucco and Risotto Milano. Photo by Denise Duguay

Osso Bucco, as much fun to eat as it is to say, is wonderful when prepared correctly. Which is to say prepared according to the hectoring voice in my head which sounds suspiciously like my sainted mother urging me to go slowly. No, even more slowly than that. One of the things you can do while preparing Osso Buco, which should take at least a couple of hours of cooking time, is preparing one of the simplest and best condiments. Ever. Gremolata, which is also as much fun to say as it is to eat. Simply, and that is part of the charm, gremolata is minced parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Jumble it up and either feather it atop your Osso Bucco or mix it in with the drippings left in the pan. It adds a spiky, but delicate punch of flavour to the silky veal. But why stop at veal? It also goes amazingly well with other roast meats, ribs and even fish and other seafood. And why stop at parsley. Why not mint? Or even cilantro (that’s coriander, you Quebecers).

Lemon zest , or citrus zest of some kind, is the soul of Gremolata. Photo by Denise Duguay

The gremolata recipe I use is carved into the Osso Buco recipes I use, which is Mark Bittman’s from The Best Recipes of the World but for linking purposes here, all I could find was the Osso Bucco (click here), and so I’ll wing the Gremolata below.

Gremolata is nothing without garlic. Photo by Denise Duguay


One bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced

One lemon, zested

I not-too-large clove garlic, minced

Jumble it all up in a lovely small bowl. If you’re fearful of the garlic, add a few drops of olive oil, which will dull the bite a bit.

Feeling frisky? Try epicurious.com’s Mixed herb Gremolata.

Gremolata needs some kind of herb. The classic version takes parsley and I prefer flat-leaf parsley. Photo by Denise Duguay

Denise Duguay


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