Before I tell you the story behind this dish, I thought I would give you a quick explanation of what a gremolata is. Traditionally from Milan, Italy, a gremolata is a herb condiment that is made out of fresh parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Of course, like any classic recipe, there are countless variations of a traditional gremolata. Some people like to add nuts to it for added heartiness while others like to add a touch of sweetness with dried fruits as well as a touch of heat with spicy peppers. All that to say, the variations are truly endless. One thing all gremolata have in common: they are delicious and accompany beautifully almost all roasted or sautéed vegetables.
Now that you know a little bit more about what a gremolata is, I thought I’d tell you a little more about how this dish came to be. It is kind of funny how most of the recipes I plan to make in my head always turn out different when it comes time to actually bring them to life. Because the asparagus season has officially begun here in Montreal, I thought it would be the perfect occasion to make some juicy oven roasted local asparagus and top them with a tangy and nutty gremolata.
The day I did the groceries for this shoot, I literally had to go to 3 different grocery stores around me to find asparagus at a good price. Unfortunately, they were quite pricy everywhere and as I was about to completely renounce to the idea of making this recipe, I saw two eggplants on sale for $1.49! Part of me was quite bummed that my initial plan did not work out, but at the same time, I thought, “why not practice what you always tell other people to do: be creative in the kitchen!”
So I got those eggplants and headed towards my kitchen to test the recipe. Lo and behold, magic happened! ACTUAL MAGIC!
It is very rare for me to qualify my food of magical, but this recipe falls in that category. With just a few simple ingredients, I created a side dish that I know for a fact I will be making over and over again for years to come!
This dish is incredibly flavorful! The roasted eggplant is kind of chewy and smoky whereas the gremolata is fresh and has a lovely tang from the lemon and lemon zest. I also love the addition of the roasted pistachios in this recipe. They add a nice texture to the gremolata as well as a perfect touch of richness. Yep, it’s heavenly. Trust me.
As I said before, this recipe is really a gem! It was a huge hit with my boyfriend and will absolutely become a staple in our house.
Now, I hope you give it a try too and let me know how you like it in the comments below. Also, feel free to share this recipe or your creations on Instagram by tagging me (@muriellebanackissa).
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