This fresh and delicious Gremolata Asparagus is a perfect side dish accent to any meal. It's both bright in color and flavors!
Gremolata Asparagus is a delicious dish made with fresh asparagus spears that are cooked and then topped with a flavorful mixture called gremolata. Gremolata is an Italian condiment typically made with three main ingredients: lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. For an added flavor and level of yumminess, we're adding parmesan cheese!
Besides being delicious, I love making this because most of it can be made ahead of time and then a quick final touch right before dinner. Not only is this an excellent side dish for grilled meats, roasted chicken, or fish, but it’s also amazing on it’s own as a light and flavorful vegetable dish or added to the top of pasta.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
Ingredient Amounts Listed in the Recipe Card Below
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Garlic
- Pine Nuts (or substitute nut)
- Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil
Tools You’ll Need
- Large Skillet
- Microplane Grater
- Garlic Press
- Chef's Knife
- Cutting Board
Why You’ll like this Recipe
- Gremolata adds a burst of fresh and vibrant flavors to the asparagus!
- Gremolata adds a delicious texture to asparagus as a side dish!
- It is a BEAUTIFUL side dish!
- It pairs well with lots of proteins or can be incorporated into salads or used as a topping for pasta dishes!
How to Make this Recipe
- Make the gremolata by combining toasted pine nuts, finely chopped parsley, grated lemon zest, minced garlic and parmesan cheese and in a small bowl.
- Wash and trim the asparagus spears. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. They should be crisp but tender.
- Drain the asparagus after it's fully cooled. When it's almost time to serve, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat, and sear the asparagus 1-2 minutes. Season with salt as desire.
- In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with the gremolata or serve the asparagus with the gremolata sprinkled on top.
Tips and Substitutions
- Besides blanching, you can also grill, roast, or steam the asparagus until they are tender but still slightly crisp.
- Toasted almonds, walnuts or pecans can be substituted for the pine nuts.
- This side dish can be served hot or cold.
- The texture and flavors of this side dish are best enjoyed when freshly prepared. However, it can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days. It does not freeze and thaw well.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use other herbs in gremolata besides parsley?
- Yes, while parsley is traditional, you can experiment with other herbs like cilantro, basil, or mint to add different flavors to your gremolata.
- Can I make gremolata ahead of time?
- You can prepare the components in advance and mix them together shortly before using.
- Can I use gremolata with other vegetables besides asparagus?
- Absolutely! Gremolata works well with a variety of vegetables like roasted potatoes, grilled zucchini or roasted carrots. Check out Gremolata Green Beans!
- Can I use Gremolata Asparagus in salads?
- Absolutely! Gremolata asparagus can be a delightful addition to salads. Chop the cooked asparagus into bite-sized pieces and toss it with other salad ingredients like mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light dressing.
- Can I substitute other citrus zest for lemon zest in gremolata?
- Yes, if you prefer different citrus flavors, you can use orange, lime, or grapefruit zest instead of lemon zest in your gremolata.
- Is gremolata asparagus gluten-free?
- Yes, it is naturally gluten-free as long as the ingredients used to make the gremolata are free from gluten contamination.
More Recipes Like This
- Gremolata Green Beans
- Garlic Broccoli and Mushrooms
- Crispy Green Beans
- Crispy Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
- 3 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoon shredded or grated parmesan
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2-3 tablespoon pine nuts, almonds or walnuts
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb asparagus trimmed
- In a small skillet on medium heat, toast nuts until lightly browned then set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the asparagus for 1-2 minutes or until tender but crisp. Transfer the asparagus to an ice water bath to stop them from cooking. Drain, pat dry, and set aside.
- For the gremolata topping, combine parsley, lemon zest, parmesan, garlic, and the toasted nuts in a small bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add the asparagus, season with salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Remove to a serving bowl and top or toss with gremolata.