Monday, September 21, 2009

Making Gremolata and Defending Curly Parsley

I mentioned gremolata at the end of the recently posted Fresh Corn and Shelling Bean Ragout video recipe, and here it is. This sharp, fresh, and very green Italian condiment is the perfect garnish to those rich, stick-to-your-ribs recipes that dominate fall and winter menus.

I not only used this batch of gremolata to top the shelling beans, but it will also make an appearance on a fabulous smoked pork shank and white bean dish I'm posting soon. As you'll see, this is an ultra-simple recipe, and one that makes so many great foods even better.


When I went out to the garden to harvest some parsley, I was faced with one of the drawbacks of my super-busy month of travel and events… unnoticed, my parsley had gone to seed, and there weren't enough leaves to do the recipe with.

Time was very short, so I ran out to the corner market, which only had bunches of curly parsley. The horror. I'm sure you've heard me making fun of chefs that still garnish plates with curly parsley on videos in the past, and in general I always use the flat leaf Italian variety. But, I have to admit, ridiculous garnishing aside, it was fine.

I do prefer the somewhat stronger flavor of Italian parsley, but once minced fine, as in this recipe, the much-maligned curly leaf does an admirable job. Besides, I realize there is still a segment of the population whose only parsley purchasing choice is the curly, and so this goes out to all of you. Enjoy!



Ingredients (adjust to your tastes!):
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 large garlic clove, crushed fine
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (optional)

10 comments:

Jeff said...

Hi Chef John,

2002 called. They said "thanks for the gremolata recipe, but can we have our serving bowl back now?"

Great recipe!!

jeff

Anonymous said...

Is this like a South American chimichurri sauce but only Italian?

Chef John said...

Hey, stop stealing my material!

Yes similar to chimichurri, but that has oregano and vinegar also usually

Cooking Ventures said...

I have a non-traditional use for gremolata. If you like Arabic food, you've probably had za'atar on top of various breads and foods. It's usually made with sumac, which tastes like dirt to me, and copious amounts of oregano, thyme, etc. I like to use gremolata and put it on anything that calls for za'atar. Very yummy!

Basia said...

So, jeff - the gist of all this is that chimichurri is the new gremolata? Is brown still the new black? I'm so confused! And from a fashion viewpoint, both condiments/sauces defeat me. Either one lasts only minutes in my house, because I compulsively put them on any available food and scarf accordingly! Hence, all clothing is instantly 3 sizes too small, and fashion is defeated by food!! Wait - that's a win, right? Oh... I'm having a fashion week hangover. Pass the butter beans ....

blogagog said...

Did you know that the leaves of a parsley plant that has gone to seed are just as flavorful as young parsley and not at all bitter? Just snip off the flowers. Try it before you doubt it!

Same with basil, although in fairness, basil is a wee bit less pungent when flowering. Still tastes good though!

Helge said...

I always found it to taste even better the day after, if there is any left by then...

nova86us said...

I've got a cooking conundrum... I LOVE lemon zest in all things possible (try it in blueberry pie!) and the issue that I end up with after is "what do I do with these freshly zested lemons?" Is there a recipe out there that contains a whole/half lemon without the zest? I hate to waste, so if you could help I would love it!

Chef John said...

juice it and add olive oil for a salad dressing... or, ah, lemonade!

Minh "Sa" Chau said...

I totally did my gremolata wrong in my video then.