I consider this something of a dry sauce verte, ideal for when you want to add freshness and brightness to a braised dish that already has a lot of liquid. This gremolata helps cut some of the richness of Balsamic Braised Short Ribs and adds a touch of much-needed color, like a scattering of confetti, to an otherwise brown dish. As a bonus, the whole thing takes just a few minutes to make. It tastes best when assembled within a half hour of serving.
Fresh horseradish is dry when you grate it, and it has a pungency that’s not as biting or as in your face as many jarred versions, which are usually puréed with vinegar, cream, and salt. Fresh horseradish tastes peppery and doesn’t add unwanted liquid to what is meant to be a dry sauce.
This gremolata is intended to add balance to a dish, so it is important that it, too, tastes balanced, with brightness from the lemon, a vegetal quality from the parsley, and a little kick from the horseradish and garlic. If the garlic comes on too strong (wait for a minute after adding it before you taste the mixture, as the flavor of garlic can take at least a few seconds to bloom fully), add more parsley to tone it down a bit. Your knife skills really show here, so chop carefully and use a very sharp knife. Also, be sure the parsley is very dry before you chop it or it will bind together rather than remain distinct and fluffy (see finely chopping herbs).
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon rind (from about
- ¼ lemon), or 1 tablespoon minced lemon confit
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 0.125 to ¼ clove garlic, grated on a fine-rasp Microplane
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Using your fingers, mix the ingredients until they are evenly distributed, 10 to 15 seconds. Taste and adjust with more horseradish if needed.
- To use the gremolata, simply sprinkle it over the top of the dish just before serving. Use it all, or cover it with oil for another use, as it does not store well dry. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.