Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Greens Gremolata

Photo source
Traditionally (see left), gremolata is a condiment made with finely chopped raw parsley, lemon, and garlic; it has a wide range of uses and really perks up whatever you eat it with (yes, I know, don't end a sentence with a preposition).  But here's a kicked-up wintertime version from FOOD 52 (the crowd-sourced recipe compilation) that's much more substantial; it incorporates greens we're growing in the hoophouse, which are lightly cooked (blanched in boiling water) first.

Winter Greens Gremolata--makes ~2 cups

  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 bunch Lacinto [or other] kale
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, for the blanching water
  • 6 anchovy fillets (vegetarians or those who dislike anchovies can substitute pitted kalamata olives)
  • 6 peeled garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest [that's an important ingredient for the flavor]
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained of brine
  • 2 tsp white-wine vinegar or champagne vinegar [I'm sure you won't ruin this if you use a less pricy white vinegar]
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
Bring large pot of water to boil. Trim any heavy stems from your greens. Add 1 tbsp kosher salt to boiling water & turn down to simmer. Toss in kale & blanch 5 minutes, stirring a bit. Remove kale w/ tongs and put in colander over large bowl. In the same pot of simmering water, blanch parsley & arugula for 1 minute only. With tongs, remove greens from water & add to draining kale; allow greens to cool a bit, then form them into a ball & squeeze out remaining liquid into the bowl. [I would save that vitamin-packed water for use in a broth, rather than discarding.] Put greens into the bowl of a food processor.

With mortar & pestle [or flat side of heavy knife on a cutting board] mash the garlic & anchovies into a paste & add to food processor, along with lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, vinegar, & olive oil. Whiz at least 30 seconds. Taste & adjust flavors (salt, lemon, vinegar) to suit your taste. Pulverize again till gremolata is relatively smooth.

You can keep in a jar in the fridge w/ a thin layer of olive oil atop, though the gremolata will lose some of its bright color. Or you can freeze it in a jar or ice cube tray, in which case it retains its bright green color. Defrost at room temp. about an hour before using.

This gremolata is great on fish, chicken, pasta, rice, you name it; it's also the basis of a fine winter salad of cabbage, cilantro, and radishes--yum!  See the post, above, for that salad.

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