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Basil & Lemon Gremolata

Basil & Lemon Gremolata

After giving my final thesis presentation and turning in the last paper of my graduate life, I found myself wandering the Union Square farmers market in a bit of a daze. It is a moment in between studying like a lunatic day and night for weeks (or days depending on your procrastination tendencies) and shifting gears to dive into the next thing. A moment of respite in the eye of the storm. Not many people get such moments, perhaps those switching jobs (and on garden leave) or starting school in the fall – so while I have been there and can recognize the sensation, this time is different.

It includes that going into the unknown, gut-churning, locate the nearest trash can, kind of unease. Three years of school is over and I am not going into an office but dedicating all of my time and energy into this blog. YIKES!! I have big plans for this site and hope you all will help me along the way by spreading the word and giving me feedback. My goal with Eat Some, Wear Some is to get you excited about cooking and learning – as excited as my sis and I get about cake – but most importantly I want you to have fun in the kitchen while learning to cook like a pro.

Chocolate Cake

But back to the farmers market and me in a daze. I came home with 4 bunches of asparagus from two different farmers, I guess I forgot I had already bought some 2 minutes earlier. So a lot of asparagus, some reeeeeeally dirty basil and radishes (which to be honest I don’t actually like all that much). While I might be fine eating just asparagus for dinner, my dilemma was how to get Chris to eat it and not find it strange that we were having it three (possibly four) nights in a row. Toasty breadcrumbs and parmesan seemed appropriate.

Gremolata is an herby Italian condiment usually made with parsley, lemon zest and garlic. It is one of those things that has a million different versions and very few rules – I added the breadcrumbs for a nice crunch and parmesan because it just makes everything better in my opinion. It can also go on just about anything from vegetables to meat (I think it was traditionally eaten with braised veal shank). So feel free to use my recipe as a guide and go wild.

Basil & Lemon Gremolata
Basil & Lemon Gremolata
Basil & Lemon Gremolata
Basil & Lemon Gremolata
Basil & Lemon Gremolata

Basil & Lemon Gremolata

Yield: about 1 cup (serves 4-6)


  1. 2 cloves garlic

  2. 2 cups loosely packed basil, thoroughly washed

  3. zest of 1 lemon

  4. ¼ cup olive oil

  5. 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko

  6. ¼ cup grated parmesan

  7. salt and pepper


  1. If you have a food processor, pulse garlic until minced then add the basil and lemon zest and pulse until finely chopped. If you do not just mince everything by hand first separately and then together.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add breadcrumbs and toss to evenly coat in olive oil. Cook over med-low heat, tossing frequently until golden brown, about 5 minutes. When just about done mix in the parmesan and a dash of salt and pepper.

  3. Let breadcrumbs cool on a paper towel lined plate.

  4. Mix everything together just before eating - once mixed the gremolata should be stored in the fridge and will keep 3-4 days. To re-toast the gremolata, heat up a little extra olive oil in a pan and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes.


You can make this a day or two in advance - once you have toasted and cooled the breadcrumbs keep them in an airtight container on the counter and keep the basil lemon mixture in the fridge, mix everything together just before eating.


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