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Quick Gremolata Made with Preserved Lemon Recipe

While some may think garnish is an afterthought, the humble gremolata with preserved lemons proves otherwise. This vibrant Italian condiment, a symphony of just three ingredients, takes any dish from good to great with its vibrant freshness and robust zesty punch. This recipe takes a slightly different spin on this traditional garnish using preserved lemons. Use our recipe to make preserved lemons from homegrown lemons or the tastiest Meyer lemons from the grocery store.  Keep reading to continue making preserved lemon gremolata. Once your gremolata is ready, use it to garnish a variety of dishes including our cozy winter instant pot lentil soup.

What is Gremolata?

Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. Gremolata, a traditional Italian condiment, embodies this philosophy perfectly. With just three humble ingredients – parsley, lemon zest, and garlic – it weaves a vibrant tapestry of flavor that elevates any dish it graces. Think of it as a burst of sunshine captured in every bite, a refreshing chorus of herbs, zesty citrus, and a hint of garlicky magic.

Meet the Trio

  • Parsley: The star of the show, choose flat-leaf parsley for its robust, peppery flavor. Chop it finely, but not to a mush – we want texture.
  • Preserved Lemon or Lemon Zest: Preserved lemons add a delicious twist to this classic garnish. The savory lemon peel adds an exciting ingredient.  If you don’t have preserved lemons, use fresh lemon zest. Zest is the key! Grate just the outer yellow layer of the lemon, avoiding the bitter white pith. This brings a sunny citrus kiss to the party. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the recipe, too. 
  • Garlic: This pungent hero adds depth and a touch of garlicky magic. Finely mince or grate it for maximum flavor infusion.

Gather Your Tools For Making Preserved Lemon Gremolata



  • Food processor: This can save you time and effort in chopping the ingredients, especially if you have a smaller knife or less fine motor skills. However, some prefer the texture of hand-chopped ingredients.
  • Spoon: Useful for drizzling olive oil and stirring the gremolata.
  • Airtight container: For storing any leftover gremolata in the refrigerator. We love this glass set from Rubbermaid.

Additional notes:

  • If you use a food processor, pulse the ingredients instead of chopping them continuously to retain some texture.
  • Some variations of gremolata include grated parmesan cheese or a pinch of chili flakes. You can add these if you desire, but they are unnecessary for the basic recipe.

Ready to dive in? Here’s What You Need to Make Preserved Lemon Gremolata


  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley or Italian Parsley, coarsely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped preserved lemon skin and pulp of the preserved lemon (discard the pith)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. Chop your heroes: Finely mince the garlic and preserved lemons. Coarsely chop the fresh parsley, leaving some good-sized bits for texture.
  2. Dance of flavors: Combine the chopped parsley, garlic, and preserved lemons in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Massage the mixture gently with your fingers to release the oils and meld the flavors.
  3. Finishing touch: Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil to moisten and bind the gremolata. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.


  • Use a Food Processor: Instead of chopping the ingredients with a knife, a food processor is a good choice if you’re in a time crunch. Pour all of the ingredients into a food processor bowl and chop until the desired consistency is reached. 

Gremolata’s Playground: More Great Recipes to Add These Exciting Ingredients

This versatile topping shines on a variety of canvases. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Pasta Perfection: Sprinkle gremolata onto freshly tossed pasta dishes for a bright, refreshing counterpoint to rich sauces.
  • Risotto Revelation: Elevate your risotto with a burst of citrus and herb after adding your final cheese.
  • Soup Savior: Give your lentil soup a vibrant lift with a generous sprinkle of gremolata.
  • Side Dish Potatoes: A dollop of gremolata adds a spicy punch to an otherwise boring potato recipe. 
  • Protein Partner: Grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and even creamy polenta all welcome the lively dance of flavors that gremolata brings.

Beyond the Basics

While the classic trio is pure perfection, feel free to experiment! Consider adding:

  • A pinch of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
  • Chopped mint for a fresh summery twist.
  • Toasted nuts for a delightful textural contrast.

Combine the ingredients into the classic gremolata herbs to develop a unique flavor profile. Consider adding these details to your gremolata recipe to make it again next time. 

Storing Your Gremolata

Store leftover gremolata in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, freshness reigns supreme, so use it quickly for the most vibrant flavor.

So, there you have it! Now go forth and unleash the magic of gremolata. Remember, simplicity is often the key to unlocking the most extraordinary flavors.

Bonus Tip: For a truly authentic touch, make gremolata using a Mezzaluna, a crescent-shaped knife traditionally used for chopping herbs.

I hope you enjoy making this easy but power-packed tasty garnish. Let us know how your first time making Gremolata goes. We would love to know if you use it to enhance the flavors of your main course or wow your brunch guests. Whether you use our mixture of parsley or another selection of herbs, we would love to hear about your favorite combination. Happy eating!

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