Gremolata: Cure for the Winter Blahs
When it comes to cooking, I always find it a little hard to feel inspired this time of year. The holiday baking is done, the feasts are feasted, and I’ve been overindulging my appetite. So I want something light, but also bright. A tonic for the short days, long nights, and cold temperatures.
This is a great time, then, to make gremolata, a simple Italian relish made with parsley, lemons, and garlic. All are in season (though not, admittedly, local). And the combination is zesty and refreshing. Traditionally gremolata is served on braised meats, such as osso bucco, but you can also use it on roasted chicken, eggs, roasted cauliflower, carrots, or Brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, pasta, or grilled salmon.
With just three primary ingredients, it couldn’t be simpler to make. Start with:
1 bunch parsley
2 small cloves garlic
Most recipes call for just lemon zest, but I like bigger pieces, so I cut off the peel with a paring knife. I pick up some of the bitter white pith this way, but that’s how I like it. For less pith, use a vegetable peeler to remove only the yellow part.
Then I mince the lemon peel, enough parsley to yield 3 tablespoons, and the garlic.
Then all you do is stir them together. You can stop here, or for more of a sauce, you can add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt if you like. And that’s it! An early January pick-me-up.