Asparagus Gremolata

No, you didn’t read it wrong. This isn’t asparagus with gremolata, this is actually gremolata made with asparagus!

I’m the first to snicker when cooking terms are wrongly or “loosely” used – especially on menus! Sometimes it just makes it hard to figure out what the dish is. Names like “confit” and “coulis” and now, “gremolata.”

Gremolata is a fabulous condiment of sorts, Italian in origin, made up of lemon, parsley, and garlic. It’s often served with Osso Bucco, but it’s also good with roasted meats.

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My husband and I once dined at a restaurant that served us bread with gremolata as soon as we sat down. Within a short time, the restaurant had run out of gremolata, probably because of us devouring it!

In any case, my friends had me over for my birthday in April, and I sat down to a lovely meal of steaks, grilled by him, and pasta with asparagus gremolata, made by her.

She told me it was called asparagus gremolata, and it was in a recent Bon Appetit. I was a little confused because I was familiar with traditional gremolata. In any case, it so so ingredible, I got the recipe from her and I’m making it. Here’s the recipe, photographed from the magazine.

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Besides serving the asparagus gremolata with meats and fish, Bon Appetit suggested adding pasta and arugula, which is how it was served to me. I used half spinach and half arugula!

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There was a little prep work involved, but it didn’t take much time. One thing I did was to remove the ends of the asparagus spears, so that only the thinly sliced asparagus stems were part of the gremolata.

The sliced asparagus was rinsed multiple times in icy water to keep it crisp. I was so tempted to parboil the asparagus, but it was so good as my friend made it that I didn’t want to change a thing!

A ribbon pasta would be beautiful tossed with the gremolata, but I chose pipe rigate.

Once the gremolata, the pasta and the arugula/spinach combo was tossed together, I added much needed salt and a generous amount of olive oil.

You can treat this dish as a side dish, or also like a pasta salad.

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It would be good with some shaved Parmesan as well.

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Although the arugula adds some spiciness, I could see sprinkling a little cayenne pepper flakes on the top of the pasta.

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But I just offered salt and pink peppercorns. Enjoy!

note: What was especially nice about the whole dinner, is that many friends won’t cook for me! That made the whole celebration even that more wonderful. People, if you have friends who are cooks, whether it’s their main passion in life, a hobby, or their livelihood, please cook for them! They will love it!

By Published On: May 16th, 201661 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

61 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet May 16, 2016 at 7:31 AM - Reply

    What a lovely meal and a brilliant way to enjoy asparagus and gremolata at the same time! :)

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      I’ve never had raw asparagus before – it’s pretty fabulous!

  2. A Cookbook Collection May 16, 2016 at 8:35 AM - Reply

    That looks beautiful, really fresh and light.

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 8:42 AM - Reply

      What’s funny is that I never even noticed the cilantro when I first ate this. There are so many other fabulous flavors!

  3. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso May 16, 2016 at 9:04 AM - Reply

    I love Gremolata and use it often not just on Osso Bucco. I especially love the use of parsley in the original one and like to add orange zest as well.
    I think they really stretch the term here – but still love the recipe itself. It looks so fresh and tasty. :)

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 11:28 AM - Reply

      They have definitely stretched the term, but it is a fabulous creation!

  4. Sabine May 16, 2016 at 9:11 AM - Reply

    That sounds like a wonderful spring dish to me. Like most of us, I can´t get enough of asparagus either while it´s in season, used it a lot with pasta, too. The gremolata is just the perfect finishing touch that makes it all irresistible. Love it!

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 11:28 AM - Reply

      It’s a very creative and unique recipe!

      • Sabine May 16, 2016 at 11:55 AM

        definitely!

  5. flippenblog May 16, 2016 at 9:13 AM - Reply

    And it looks beautiful too😀

  6. Gerlinde de Broekert May 16, 2016 at 9:25 AM - Reply

    I definitely have to try this recipe. It looks interesting and I can see it being served with a rack of lamb. Thanks for sharing it Mimi, have a great week.

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 11:30 AM - Reply

      Definitely! I honestly think it would be best served as a condiment, but I used it all with the pasta! I’ll have to make more!

  7. Nadia May 16, 2016 at 9:38 AM - Reply

    I could eat this by the spoonful!

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 11:30 AM - Reply

      I have never eaten raw asparagus before, and it’s really refreshing!

  8. Cecile May 16, 2016 at 10:17 AM - Reply

    What an usual – at least for me – and delicious-looking recipe!! YUMMY!!

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 11:31 AM - Reply

      It’s definitely unusual! I’m so glad my friend risked this recipe!

  9. Jill Barth May 16, 2016 at 11:17 AM - Reply

    Wow! So delicate yet incredible.
    A beauty, too.

    Thank you!

  10. Elaine @ foodbod May 16, 2016 at 1:35 PM - Reply

    How funny! No one ever wants to cook for me!
    The gremolata looks lovely, I’d love to try it :)

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 1:51 PM - Reply

      I know! Isn’t that awful?!!!

      • Elaine @ foodbod May 16, 2016 at 2:13 PM

        I don’t mind to be honest… I’d rather not be faced with a plate of food that I really don’t want to eat!!!

      • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 8:17 PM

        Hahahahahahahaha! Wish we could talk!!!

      • Elaine @ foodbod May 17, 2016 at 12:33 AM

        Me too 😀☺️😉

  11. Lisa @ cheergerm May 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM - Reply

    Spring on a plate CM!

  12. White House Red Door May 16, 2016 at 4:29 PM - Reply

    This looks delicious… what a great alternative to the regular grilled, roasted, or steamed asparagus!

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 8:15 PM - Reply

      Yeah, except it really is a condiment, not really an asparagus dish. I mean, you couldn’t just eat it without something else, like this pasta, or with fish or a filet. But so unique and really fun!

  13. Jack & Barbra Donachy May 16, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Reply

    Thanks for teaching us about this! We’ll be in farm country this summer and will try this out as soon as we come across asparagus!

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 8:13 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome! It’s really fun stuff!

  14. Liz May 16, 2016 at 8:11 PM - Reply

    Nom! Brilliance with the red pepper flakes :-) And the pink peppercorns do indeed do nicely.

    • chef mimi May 16, 2016 at 8:13 PM - Reply

      I guess they’re not really pepper, but they’re so pretty and taste great!

  15. chefceaser May 17, 2016 at 12:45 AM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

  16. StefanGourmet May 17, 2016 at 1:36 AM - Reply

    The term is stretched, but it looks and sounds nice. Perhaps except the cilantro ;-) Cilantro isn’t even available in Italy.
    I get cooked for very rarely, too. Very nice when it does happen!

    • chef mimi May 17, 2016 at 7:37 AM - Reply

      If you ever decide to make this, just use parsley. I happen to love cilantro, and I know you can take it in small amounts, but honestly the other flavors are so much more vivid that both times I ate this I forgot that cilantro was even in the “gremolata!” And yes, it’s really nice to get cooked for, no matter the meal!

  17. Gather and Graze May 17, 2016 at 1:42 AM - Reply

    Sounds so fresh and spring-like Mimi – just a little envious! ;) That final photo is a stunner.

  18. Laura @ Feast Wisely May 17, 2016 at 2:08 AM - Reply

    Live this recipe Chef Mimi only perhaps I’d try red wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar to complement the other flavours…..

    • chef mimi May 17, 2016 at 7:38 AM - Reply

      Honestly, I don’t know why any vinegar is in this. What I mean is, I don’t think vinegar is in the gremolata for flavor. A little lemon juice could be added, just for a little zing. I think they used rice wine vinegar just because it’s so mild, but then, why use vinegar at all?!!!

      • Laura @ Feast Wisely May 17, 2016 at 6:11 PM

        Very true I thought I’d recalled seeing a red wine vinegar version but you’re probably right the vinegar is intended to loosen it….

      • chef mimi May 17, 2016 at 7:20 PM

        I would use it if I used it really like a gremolata, like on fish, or roasted chicken, but not bother with the vinegar tossed with the pasta like I did. It was good, but definitely not necessary.

  19. Linda Duffin May 17, 2016 at 5:24 AM - Reply

    Lovely, so fresh. I made a raw asparagus salad for the first time this week and the flavour is quite different to when it’s cooked or even blanched.

    • chef mimi May 17, 2016 at 7:39 AM - Reply

      I was sooo tempted to parboil it, but I’m glad I didn’t! Next I will try a salad. Did you shave the asparagus?

      • Linda Duffin May 17, 2016 at 10:40 AM

        Yes, I did. Recipe on Mrs P on Friday if you’d like to take a look. Lxx

  20. sippitysup May 17, 2016 at 11:17 AM - Reply

    I tend to call all these chopped toppings salsa, but that has so many more assumptions about it than even gremolata. Either way it looks delicious. GREG

    • chef mimi May 17, 2016 at 7:22 PM - Reply

      Whatever this is, it’s really unique. It’s also odd, but not in a bad way!

  21. chezlerevefrancais May 17, 2016 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    Love asparagus and I think this would be a great summer salad. I don’t panic about the terms used but then nobody much cooks for me either! Will definitely try this one, thanks :)

    • chef mimi May 17, 2016 at 7:21 PM - Reply

      It’s just a pet peeve of mine. I wrote a previous post on menus. I really like properly written menus!!!

  22. anotherfoodieblogger May 17, 2016 at 11:35 PM - Reply

    Oh wow, what a refreshing dish! I do love fresh asparagus.

    • chef mimi May 18, 2016 at 7:41 AM - Reply

      I’ve never had it raw! It’s really good!

  23. Cocoa & Lavender May 21, 2016 at 8:51 AM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of this! It sounds fabulous.

    • chef mimi May 21, 2016 at 1:12 PM - Reply

      I don’t think anyone has heard of this! It’s so unique!

  24. camparigirl May 21, 2016 at 5:10 PM - Reply

    What a wonderful idea! And a great use for the last of my asparagus in the fridge. Sometimes I get so complacent and go back to the same tried and true with vegetables.

    • chef mimi May 21, 2016 at 5:31 PM - Reply

      Nothing wrong with that! I love steamed asparagus with a little olive oil and salt… This is really more like a condiment, in any case. It’s very interesting!

  25. gypsygurl64 May 24, 2016 at 11:15 AM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of this but I absolutely adore asparagus so I will have to try it.

    • chef mimi May 24, 2016 at 4:25 PM - Reply

      No one has ever heard of it! It’s so unique. It would also be wonderful on fish!

  26. bitsandbreadcrumbs May 25, 2016 at 9:32 AM - Reply

    Love this idea, and tossing it with pasta seems like a perfect Spring meal to me! :)

  27. Nancy |Plus Ate Six May 25, 2016 at 10:26 PM - Reply

    I would be tempted to cook the asparagus too so I’ll follow your lead and try to resist! What an inspiring way to use asparagus though – I love it with pasta as you’ve done.

    • chef mimi May 26, 2016 at 7:03 AM - Reply

      It’s such a unique recipe. I’d never had raw asparagus, either!

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