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Another riff on the Italian classic. Where gremolata usually uses garlic, this version contains none, and uses shallot instead. It also uses only a little lemon zest, and calls for Meyer lemon rather than Eureka. This iteration came about as a garnish for seared and roasted butternut squash rounds, which are sweet on their own, and have a nutty flavor. This version would go well on other roast or crisp sautéed vegetables such as parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, or other dense-fleshed winter squash. Try it on turkey cutlets, pan roasted halibut, or charred octopus as well.
1 cup flat leaf parsley, leaves and thinnest stems only
2 heaping tablespoons fresh marjoram, leaves only
– OR –
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, smaller leaves preferred
1 medium shallot, (scant ¼ cup) diced finely
1 medium-small Meyer lemon, zest finely chopped, 2 tablespoons juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed-look for a buttery oil without lots of pepper and spice like your Tuscans- Arbosana is a good choice
Combine the herbs and the zest together on a cutting board. With a thin-bladed, very sharp knife, mince the herbs finely, turning and regrouping them with the back of the knife until the mélange is finely minced and aromatic. Do not chop until you have a green mush, just until things are uniformly fine.
Transfer to a non-reactive bowl, mix in the shallot, and drizzle with the lemon juice. Stir to evenly mix in. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Slowly drizzle in olive oil, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Do this until you have a slightly runny/saucy slurry.
Taste, adjusting flavor as needed. You might need more oil or a touch of acid or salt to balance flavors out. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, then return to room temperature before using.
Chef’s Notes: This gremolata is meant to go with roasted hazelnuts on roasted rounds of butternut squash. The lemon flavor should be a mild pleasant note in the background, with the herbs and shallot up front. Keep this in mind when making this. If you only have Eureka lemons, ski the juice and back off by 50% on the zest, and use white balsamic vinegar or a mild white wine vinegar in lieu of the lemon juice. If you know you are using pine nuts, Eureka lemon will be fine, although you still want to back off a bit.
Yield: ¾ cup
Source: Chef Andrew E Cohen
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