Winter Greens Gremolata and Pesto

By • December 2, 2012 12 Comments

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Author Notes: In this recipe, I play with Classic Gremolata by adding dinosaur kale, arugula, capers, and lots of anchovies. With a few simple additions, I extend half of the Winter Greens Gremolata into Winter Greens Pesto. The uses for both Gremolata (on cabbage salad, with roasted vegetables, as a topping for fish) and Pesto (on pasta, in potato pancakes, on sandwiches, in omelets, as a topping for lamb chops) are endless. And both freeze beautifully! Feel free to use any kind of winter greens here (just stick with the green ones because purple pesto isn't very appetizing).Phyllis Grant

Makes 2 cups winter greens gremolata (half of which you can extend into winter greens pesto)

Winter Greens Gremolata

  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, for the blanching water
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons capers (drained of brine)
  • 2 teaspoons white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Wash arugula, parsley, and kale (no need to dry them). Trim off any large stems. Add salt to water and turn down to a simmer. Toss in the kale. Blanch for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove kale with tongs and place in a colander over a large bowl. Using the same water, blanch parsley and arugula for only one minute. With tongs, remove second batch of greens and add to draining kale. Allow all greens to cool for a few minutes. Form greens into a ball and squeeze out most of the liquid. Place in food processor.
  2. With a mortar and pestle, bash anchovy and garlic to a paste. Into the food processor, add anchovy/garlic paste, lemon juice/zest, capers, vinegar, and olive oil. Pulverize the heck out of it for 30 seconds. Taste for balance and texture. Add salt, more lemon juice, or vinegar as needed. Pulverize more if texture is too coarse.
  3. You can keep it in a jar in the fridge with a thin layer of olive oil on top (just know that it won't be vibrant green by the next day). Or you can freeze it in a jar or in an ice cube tray. It stays green and beautiful when you freeze it. Thaw for an hour or so at room temperature before using.

Winter Greens Pesto

  • 1 cup Winter Greens Gremolata
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (fresh, not aged)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Lemon juice. to taste
  • White wine vinegar, to taste
  1. If you're extending some of the Gremolata into pesto, leave 1 cup of Gremolata in the food processor. Add warm nuts, goat cheese, parmesan, and olive oil. Taste. It will probably need more salt. Maybe a bit more acid like lemon or vinegar.
  2. Keeps for a few days in the fridge in a jar with a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. Alternatively, you can freeze it in a jar or in an ice cube tray for easy access. Thaw by leaving it out room at temperature for an hour or so.

More Great Recipes: Condiments|Entrees|Side Dishes|Pesto|Kale

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Comments (12) Questions (0)


over 2 years ago Lilismom

Sitting in the processor waiting for the pasta! It is so yummy!


over 2 years ago Marshacb

Ummm, I want this now! But, as 'bunch' is not a very informative or uniform unit, can you give us a little hint at what the ratio of the greens to the other ingredients was.


over 2 years ago Phyllis Grant

true. bunch is a little confusing. i meant a bunch as in how it's sold in the market as a bunch tied together. so i would say the following amounts (big stems removed, before wilting): 10-12 leaves dinosaur kale, 2 cups arugula, and 2 cups parsley. and the astonishing thing is that it will transform into a baseball-sized ball of greens once wilted and the water is squeezed out. and if you can cram in even more greens, go for it! it's a very forgiving recipe. just taste a lot a the end to make sure it's balanced. hope that helps!


over 2 years ago Marshacb

Thanks! That helps a lot! I get all my veggies from my CSA and it doesn't come in bunches; I take what I need. Also, the bunches that come in stores are all different sizes depending on where you shop. This looks delish – especially with the Brussels Sprouts. I'll be making them this weekend.


over 2 years ago Panfusine

Sounds divine.. Can I knock off the anchovies without compromising too much on the flavor to get a vegetarian version?


over 2 years ago Phyllis Grant

this recipe works great without the anchovies.


over 2 years ago ninadora

I'm just curious...why blanch at all?


over 2 years ago Phyllis Grant

it softens the kale and makes it more manageable (easier to shove into the food processor). and blanching in salt water pops and maintains the green color.


over 2 years ago bgavin

Do you have to pull the kale out of the pot? Is there a reason not to simply thrown the parsley and arugula into the pot for the last minute of the kale's cooking?


over 2 years ago Phyllis Grant

go for it! for me it was just a matter of space. the kale took up all the room. just make sure to use a really big pot.


almost 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Can't wait to make this(these)!


almost 3 years ago Miachel Breton

Same here! May add in dandelion greens to add an extra kick.