Green beans gremolata. A little lemon, a little garlic, a little parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. So simple. So seemingly sophisticated. All it takes is a few extra ingredients to effortlessly gussy up good old green beans.–David Leite

What is gremolata?

Gremolata is a traditional Italian condiment that’s essentially a green sauce made from chopped parsley, lemon zest, and fresh garlic. It’s relatively bracing astringency is commonly paired with rich meats like osso bucco, though it’s also terrific with lamb, fish, vegetables, even soups.

A bowls of green beans gremolata with a small dish of gremolata on the side.

Green Beans Gremolata

5 / 3 votes
Green beans gremolata is an easy way to gussy up green beans and make them seem fancy without being fussy.
David Leite
Servings2 to 3 servings
Calories102 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • 1/2 pound green beans, blanched for about 4 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Zest of 2 lemons (1 to 2 tablespoons), finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Fill a bowl halfway with ice water. Bring a pot or large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook just until bright green and tender but not at all mushy, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the green beans. 
  • Use a slotted spoon or tongs to dip the beans into the ice water just long enough to stop the cooking. Drain the beans and pat them dry. (You can set the green beans aside at room temperature for an hour or so prior to serving.)
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the parsley, lemon zest, olive oil, and garlic.
  • Just before serving, toss the green beans into the bowl with the gremolata mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Originally published November 14, 2017.
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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 102 kcalCarbohydrates: 9 gProtein: 2 gFat: 7 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 5 gSodium: 10 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Andrea Stewart. Photo © 2017 Faith Mason. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Most people think of green beans as a rather mushy vegetable that goes with anything, dressed up with a bit of ham or bacon or as the ever famous mushroom soup casserole served at holidays. They can usually be found swimming in the vegetable section at most buffets. I am pleased to have found a recipe that actually does justice to the fresh bean.

Served while still crisp and enhanced by notes of lemon and garlic, this green beans gremolata recipe will stay in my recipe box. I used curly leaf parsley. I didn’t really feel the parsley added anything, but neither did it detract. It is an attractive dish which would add to the appearance of the plate.

I could eat a lot of green beans prepared this way, so I am going to say this is one serving. However, knowing that not everyone enjoys their vegetables as much as I do, this could also perhaps better be described as 1 to 2 servings.

This is another simple recipe with few ingredients, where the quality of the ingredients is key. I purchased my green beans at the farmers market the same day, and I selected this dish to make in part because of these lovely beans. From start to finish, this takes just minutes to prepare and will be as tasty at room temperature as it would be with just-blanched beans. One note: I am a habitual undersalter. Do not undersalt!

This is a simple, quick and very interesting way to prepare green beans. I’ve used gremolata classically on osso bucco, but never thought of using it this way and it works.

If you’ve ever grown green beans or pole beans in your garden, then you understand just how bountiful the crop becomes! Every other day this time of year I seem to be picking enough beans for dinner…and more. I was excited to test this recipe as I am constantly searching for new and exciting ways to cook these green garden gems. Tossing blanched green beans in the Italian condiment is a simple, flavorful, lovely way to serve any variety of beans—wax beans, haricots verts, you name it, this recipe will be a hit.

I blanched my beans in a pot of boiling water for 4 minutes (my beans are the thick pole bean variety) and then dunked them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. I used flat-leaf parsley and Meyer lemons. The only suggestions I would have for the recipe would be to add the juice of 1 of the lemons you zested to the gremolata itself; I thought the condiment needed a bit more brightness from the lemon, and a touch of liquid.

I would also recommend adding some crushed red pepper flakes into the gremolata for a touch of heat. This is a nice recipe idea not only for green beans, but asparagus would be nice in the spring, and maybe even blanched broccoli and cauliflower as well.

I actually made these green beans gremolata twice. The recipe makes it seem as though the dish is supposed to be served cold so that was how I served it the first time. However this wasn’t well received by the more “traditional” guests, who balked at cold beans served with hot food. They agreed that the beans were delicious but found the coldness of the dish off putting. The decision to serve them with this particular meal might have been a mistake; I think they would be lovely served as a side in the summer or with lunch. They were a beautiful bright green with lots of crunch.

The second time I made them, the only difference was that I didn’t use the ice bath. Aside from the temperature difference, I found that the garlic was definitely softened by the heat. In the cold version, the garlic had a very startling, pungent bite that was tempered the second time. Having said all this, I enjoyed them both ways. I love the lemony brightness and crispness of the dish which belies the ease of preparation. I haven’t used gremolata before, I look forward to cooking with it again.

This is a nice, quick side dish with great, summery flavors. Start to finish, it took about 15 minutes. I used flat leaf parsley and blanched the green beans for about 2 minutes before dunking in the ice bath.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Green beans can be so boring. And every year I hate to put them on the Thanksgiving table, because no one eats them. So I gave this recipe a test drive last night. The gremolata gave the beans a real brightness. I also added a little bit of horseradish, which took it over the top.