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.
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
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.