Asparagus with Gremolata

The quest for the fall back side has one more contender in the running – this simple preparation of asparagus with a delicious italian condiment of the brightest flavor and texture is an absolute gem.  Even better than how it tastes is the work involved, or should I say lack thereof.  This is probably the simplest and most elegant side that you can put together, and should absolutely become a go-to recipe in your kitchen.

Gremolata is a lovely mixture of finely chopped parley, garlic and lemon.  It is most commonly used as a topping for osso buco (braised veal shanks) and other slow-cooked meat dishes that benefit from a lightening of flavor to round things out.  The key to gremolata is prepping it as you need it and using the freshest ingredients.  A simple toss with some asparagus and olive oil, this gremolata will bring the tender spears to a whole new level.

Gremolata is absolutely versatile – if you’re not a fan of asparagus, try it atop simple roasted string beans or tomatoes.  It also serves as a simple stir-in for minestrone and other savory soups.  Be creative and definitely take advantage of the fact that gremolata will give your one-note dishes a huge kick in the pants.  In a good way.

Recipe for

Asparagus with Gremolata

1 lb. of asparagus, rinsed and trimmed of tough ends
1 cl. of garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1 c. of loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/8 tsp. of freshly cracked pepper
2 tbs. of olive oil
kosher salt

Place asparagus in a shallow pan and fill with water to barely cover asparagus.  Heavily salt the water and bring water to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil and the asparagus spears turn a bright green, remove them from the water and place them in a serving dish.

In a small bowl, mix the parsley, lemon zest, pepper, a small pinch of kosher salt and olive oil.  Pour over the hot asparagus spears and toss.  Serve.

3 thoughts on “Asparagus with Gremolata”

  1. Gonna do this for Memorial Day picnic…just an FYI cause I know how you be, parsley isn't located in the list of ingredients. So, how much you recommend? I think your amazing.

    1. Ha! That would be useful to know, right? Editor's correction: Start picking leaves off of parsley stems and put them in a measuring cup until you have a cup. Done and done.

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