No! Gremolata is not just a parsley based pesto – though it also is an Italian condiment – , it’s actually so much more than that and it tends to be much more versatile compared to a traditional basil pesto. If you’ve followed my previous posts, you know that I’m fond of herbaceous preparations and flavours. I feel like using herbs is an incredible way to enliven some basic dishes requiring tasty seasonings. You’ll, of course, be very happy to know that making this lemony gremolata only takes a couple minutes and very basic ingredients that you most probably have in your fridge and cupboard!
I have made my first ever gremolata sauce one day I was craving pasta but had nothing to flavour it, no green or red pesto, nor tomato sauce or anything. I saw this huge bunch of fresh parsley in the fridge and started looking at parsley based sauce ideas. It’s actually become very trendy to vary the condiments ingredients, for exemple we hear a lot about chimichurri now, which can actually be considered at the Argentinian version of gremolata as it’s parsley based too, but more spiced up. I really enjoy using gremolata with pasta, for the taste firstly, but also because I always have a lot of parsley at home and need to use it up, so this recipes is about the perfect fit. Gremolata does not only go with pasta, but also to season a meat or fish for example.
The basic gremolata recipes only contain parsley, garlic, lemon & salt, pepper to which I added grounded almonds both for the taste and nutritional value of this condiment, especially when used in vegan meals. Though the star of today is my gremolata recipe, you understand that this has to be combined to a meal, so you will find the whole Gremolata Zucchini Pasta recipe below. It’s a very light, fresh and zesty pasta dish, sprinkled with crunchy almond chunks and a little parmesan cheese (remove for vegan option). I love having this meal whenever I need energy in intensive time periods as exams, it’s comforting but won’t make you feel swollen at all. Taste wise, it’s a whole new dimension that you’ll bring to your pasta dish as it’s more “delicate” than basil, the latter actually takes over on approximately any other ingredients. Hence, with gremolata, I actually am able to add a great load of veggies in there 🙂
RECIPE for 70g gremolata
Prep time: 5 minutes
You will need:
- 30g parsley
- 25g almonds
- 1/2 small garlic clove
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 to 1/2 lemon juice
- Grated lemon zest (opt. use organic lemons to do so)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Using a food processor, start grounding the almonds until you obtain a thin powder. If there are “chunks” remaining, you can leave them as they are.
In the food processor, add the parsley, minced garlic and lemon zest along the lemon juice and olive oil which I suggest to gradually add – tablespoon per tablespoon. Finally add up the salt and pepper according to your own taste and thinking of the seasoning that the other elements of the dish will have.
When you obtain a nice consistency, I like gremolata to be creamy but not completely homogeneous, stop processing it. Let sit in the fridge.
GREMOLATA & ZUCCHINI PASTA RECIPE
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes
You will need:
- 80g pasta of your choice /pers (uncooked, here spaghettis)
- 1/2 large zucchini /pers
- 35g gremolata /pers
- 1/2 garlic clove
- Drizzle olive oil
- Chopped almonds
- Parley leaves
- Drizzle lemon juice
- Parmesan (opt.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put some salted water to boil for the pasta.
While the water heats up, heat up a pan with a drizzle olive oil. Mince the garlic and cut the zucchini in large dices. Pan fry the garlic and zucchini over a medium heat with salt.
When the water boils, cook the pasta al dente according to the indicated time on the pack.
When the zucchinis are cooked, leave them over the turned off stove to keep them hot while the pastas finish cooking.
As soon as the pastas are cooked, drain and put back in the pot with a dash of olive oil and the gremolata sauce. Using a fork, coat the pasta with the gremolata. Then serve in a plate, top up with zucchini, chopped almonds, a drizzle lemon juice and some parsley leaves. I also added a little parmesan cheese, but this is optional and makes the dish vegan !