Asparagus with Gremolata Recipe from Italy

Asparagus with Gremolata

Asparagus with Gremolata Recipe from Italy
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 5 minutes | Servings: 4


Asparagus with Gremolata
Asparagus with Gremolata

Asparagus with Gremolata is a vibrant, flavorful dish that combines the tender, slightly sweet taste of steamed asparagus with the zesty, aromatic punch of gremolata. This recipe is perfect for those seeking a light, nutritious side dish that doesn't skimp on flavor. The simplicity of the ingredients allows the natural flavors to shine, making it a versatile accompaniment to a wide range of main courses.


The origins of gremolata trace back to Italian cuisine, where it is traditionally made with lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. This garnish is often used to add a fresh burst of flavor to osso buco, a hearty Milanese specialty. The pairing of gremolata with asparagus is a more modern culinary innovation, showcasing how traditional elements can be reimagined to enhance the flavors of vegetables.



How to prepare

  1. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket.
  2. Sprinkle with the all-purpose seasoning.
  3. Steam for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender-crisp.
  4. Drain well.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.


  1. In a small bowl, combine the gremolata ingredients.
  2. Pour the mixture over the asparagus.
  3. Toss gently to coat.

Cook's Tip

  1. When using fresh asparagus, trim about 1 inch from the bottom ends of the stalks (break where the stalk bends).


  • For a twist, try adding chopped almonds or capers to the gremolata for added texture and flavor. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or a drizzle of balsamic glaze can also elevate the dish.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best results, choose asparagus spears that are uniform in size to ensure even cooking. Fresh asparagus should be bright green with firm, closed tips. When trimming the asparagus, bending the stalks until they snap will naturally separate the tender tops from the tougher, woody bottoms. Steaming the asparagus just until tender-crisp preserves its nutrients and vibrant color.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Asparagus with Gremolata alongside grilled chicken, fish, or tofu for a balanced, nutritious meal. It also pairs beautifully with roasted or mashed potatoes.

Cooking Techniques

Steaming the asparagus preserves its nutrients and color, but you can also grill or roast the asparagus for a smokier flavor. Just be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.

Ingredient Substitutions

If dillweed isn't available, you can substitute it with chives or tarragon. Lemon zest can be replaced with orange zest for a slightly sweeter gremolata.

Make Ahead Tips

The gremolata can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Steam the asparagus just before serving to ensure it remains crisp and vibrant.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the asparagus on a platter and sprinkle the gremolata over the top for a rustic, appealing presentation. Garnish with lemon slices or wedges for an extra touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs well with a crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, which complements the freshness of the gremolata.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Asparagus with Gremolata can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It's best enjoyed cold or at room temperature, as reheating may cause the asparagus to become overly soft.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Asparagus with Gremolata is low in calories, with approximately 20-30 calories per 100 grams. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to maintain or reduce their calorie intake.


A serving of Asparagus with Gremolata is low in carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Asparagus itself contains about 3.88 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, most of which are dietary fiber.


This dish is also low in fats. The primary source of fat would come from any oil used in the all-purpose seasoning, if applicable. However, since the recipe calls for only 1 tablespoon of seasoning, the fat content remains minimal.


Asparagus is a good source of plant-based protein, with about 2.2 grams per 100 grams. While this dish is not high in protein, it can complement a protein-rich main course.

Vitamins and minerals

Asparagus is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, iron, and potassium. The gremolata adds additional vitamin C from the lemon zest and vitamin K from the parsley, making this dish a powerhouse of essential nutrients.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, soy, and gluten. However, those with specific herb or citrus allergies should modify the gremolata accordingly.


Overall, Asparagus with Gremolata is a nutritious, low-calorie side dish that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is low in carbohydrates, fats, and calories, making it suitable for a variety of dietary needs.


Asparagus with Gremolata is a simple, nutritious side dish that brings together the tender crunch of asparagus with the bright flavors of gremolata. It's a versatile recipe that can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and dietary needs, making it a perfect addition to any meal.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a cherished one. It was a sunny afternoon in the heart of Tuscany, and I was wandering through a bustling market, taking in the sights and smells of the local produce. As I strolled past the stalls filled with vibrant fruits and vegetables, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful bunch of asparagus that immediately caught my eye. I had always loved asparagus, but I had never tried it with gremolata before.

Intrigued, I approached the vendor and asked her about the dish. She smiled warmly and began to tell me about the traditional Italian recipe that combined tender asparagus with the bright flavors of lemon, garlic, and parsley. As she described the dish to me, I could practically taste the tangy citrus and herbaceous aromas wafting through the air.

Eager to recreate this delicious dish at home, I purchased a generous bunch of asparagus and a handful of fresh herbs from the market. That evening, I set to work in my kitchen, chopping, zesting, and blending the ingredients together to create the perfect gremolata.

As the fragrant mixture of lemon, garlic, and parsley filled my kitchen, I knew I had stumbled upon something truly special. The combination of flavors was unlike anything I had ever tasted before, and I couldn't wait to pair it with the tender spears of asparagus that I had steamed to perfection.

As I took my first bite of the dish, I was transported back to that sunny afternoon in Tuscany. The bright, zesty flavors of the gremolata danced on my palate, perfectly complementing the earthy sweetness of the asparagus. It was a match made in culinary heaven, and I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my repertoire for years to come.

Over the years, I have shared this recipe with friends and family, delighting in their reactions as they too discover the magic of asparagus with gremolata. Each time I make it, I am reminded of that fateful day in the Tuscan market, and I am filled with gratitude for the culinary adventures that have shaped my love of cooking.

Now, as I pass on this recipe to you, my dear grandchild, I hope that you will savor every bite and create your own cherished memories around the dinner table. May the flavors of this dish bring you joy and nourishment, and may you always remember the story of how I learned to make the perfect asparagus with gremolata. Buon appetito!


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