Gremolata or gremolada is made of chopped parsley, lemon zest, and chopped garlic and is the usual accompaniment to Osso Buco Milanese, (braised, cross cut veal shanks). The freshness of the gremolata adds a zing to the rich taste of the slow cooked meat that is braised with white wine, tomatoes and a soffritto base. The marrow in the bones is also eaten. Risotto Milanese is also traditionally served with Osso Buco and it is made with the enticing spice, saffron.
Obviously gremolata can also pep up other food and it makes and easy and tasty accompaniment for many dishes, and not necessarily just in Italian cuisine.
I remembered first making a different gremolata years ago and using preserved lemon instead of fresh lemon peel. I re-found the original recipe in one of my many cookbooks – Arabesque.
Greg and Lucy Malouf’s recipe also contains another enticing spice, sumac . Ancient Romans used sumac as a souring agent and to add a sour tang to dishes. Sumac a common ingredient in Middle Eastern Food.
I particularly like this version of gremolata with simply seared tuna.
I also like it with the fried cheese Saganaki (refers to the pan used to make a variety of Greek appetizers, most famously the fried cheese dish).
The recipe in Arabesque:
My preserved lemons are in salt brine (and not preserved with added honey), but if you like the idea of adding a little sweetness to the recipe add a little honey.
On the odd occasion, instead of sumac, I have used saffron. and sometimes I have added a few almonds (or almond meal). Both are interesting additions and variations.
This version does contain almonds. Add 1/2 cup of blanched or whole almonds (natural or roasted ) to the specified ingredients.
Recently, I presented the gremolata made with preserved lemon with fish.
Mix the ingredients together.
- 3Tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced