Grilled Salmon with Gremolata

Grilled Salmon with Gremolata features a fresh twist on the classic Italian gremolata… The mint and parsley, variety of citrus zests, shallot, pinions and olive oil are reminiscent of pesto, and its fresh flavors sing atop a simple grilled salmon steak or fillet!

Grilled salmon with gremolata in a cast iron oval plate with citrus and a fork.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Gremolata

Gremolata is a chopped herb condiment typically comprised of parsley, lemon zest, garlic, anchovy, and sometimes olive oil. It is a traditional accompaniment to the classic Milanese special dish Ossobuco. Of course there are infinite variations on the recipe!

Gremolata is a traditional Italian condiment made from a combination of three main ingredients – lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. It is typically used as a garnish or flavor enhancer for various dishes, particularly in Italian cuisine.

The primary component of traditional gremolata is lemon zest. It adds bright and citrusy flavor to the condiment. The zest is grated or finely minced to create small, fragrant pieces. Garlic is essential IMHO.😉 I find a microplane or garlic press yield the best results.

Lastly, fresh parsley is added to the traditional gremolata, giving it a fresh and herbaceous flavor. Italian flat-leaf parsley, rather than curly parsley, is commonly used for its milder taste.

I opted to go with a less-than-traditional recipe for my Minty Citrus Gremolata because I can. Bloggers privilege 😀  I’ve never been one to post classic or authentic recipes; I love to play with my food, remember? I have always had a love affair with citrus and mint, and it seemed to be a natural pairing with a simple grilled salmon steak or filet. ! I opted to combine gremolata with pesto in a citrus-infused slightly saucy version that I think you’ll love. It takes just minutes to prepare with the right tools…

We start by zesting a variety of citrus – lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit. Rather than sticking to the traditional parsley, we’re doing fresh mint and flat leaf parsley. Shallot makes an appearance, as does pine nuts. I specify olive oil to make it all “hang together.” You can certainly omit it if you prefer to avoid the calories!

📋 Ingredients Notes

  • salmon – I am not impressed by most “fresh” salmon tags at the seafood counter. Unless you are on the coast near a salmon-producing region, it’s not fresh. It may be frozen (on the boat), and thawed, but who knows how long it’s been in the case. I recommend looking for flash-frozen-on-the-boat salmon that is widely available. Thaw it before cooking. I highly recommend wild-caught salmon rather than farmed salmon.
  • citrus – On photo day, I used lime, tangerine, and grapefruit. Texas has amazing citrus. Use a variety. Lemon is the most acidic… try to round it out with orange or grapefruit.
  • fresh herbs – No, you can’t substitute dry herbs. You can certainly just use parsley. We love the parsley/mint combination. Basil is a good substitute for the mint. I’m guessing here, but I think dill would be lovely as well.
  • piñón – AKA pine nuts are optional, but we really like them.
  • garlic – Yes, you need to use fresh garlic cloves. This condiment in its simplicity requires really good, fresh ingredients.
  • olive oil – Consider olive oil to be an optional ingredient. I think a little olive oil makes the gremolata easier to use.
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Make the citrus and mint gremolata – In the bowl of a small food processor, combine citrus zests, mint, parsley, shallot cut in small pieces, pinions, garlic, and sea salt. Pulse until finely minced, and add olive oil to desired consistency. Set aside.
  • Grill the salmon – Preheat grill to high (450°). Season salmon portions with salt and pepper. Place salmon portions skin side down (if applicable) and citrus halves on grill. Cook until salmon flesh shows a change in color near the skin, about 6-8 minutes. Gently turn the salmon, and cook until medium or desired doneness, another 2-4 minutes. Keep an eye on the citrus. Remove when it has nice grill marks.
  • To serve – Plate the salmon portion. Top with a generous spoonful of the citrus and mint gremolata, and serve grilled citrus alongside to squeeze over top. Enjoy!
A close up of 1 piece of grilled salmon topped with citrus and mint gremolata.

❓ FAQ

What temperature should I cook salmon to?

USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145° (well-done). I think well-done salmon is dry and tasteless. I aim for “medium” (125°) or “medium-rare” (120°) according to the quality of my salmon. I like the lower temperature for wild caught salmon. See Cooking Salmon Temperature Guide for more information.

💭 Tips

Skin-on salmon fillets are best for cooking directly on the grate of a gas or charcoal grill. The skin releases fat as it cooks, keeping the fish more moist as it cooks. In addition, the skin holds the salmon together as it cooks.

Pairing this grilled salmon with gremolata is easy. While the gremolata has a Mediterranean flair, it can be paired with a wide variety of sides. We like these Grilled Veggie Skewers or this Greek Zoodle Salad.

🐟 I Don’t Like Fish!

I regularly hear “I don’t like fish.” ARGH! How is it possible to reject an entire type of protein and the infinite variety of preparations? My response is typically “you have not had good quality fish prepared by a good cook.” I have at least one close friend that agrees with my thought process on the subject as she grew up thinking of fish as fish sticks… Is it any wonder she thought she didn’t like fish?

I hope you’ll give my Grilled Salmon with Gremolata a try! If you just can’t “do” fish, then try the gremolata atop grilled chicken or even a lamb chop. Gremolata is definitely a great way to dress up simple grilled proteins!

If you love healthy fish recipes, you’re sure to love this Mediterranean baked cod with tomatoes and capers or this easy Mediterranean fish with white beans. In fact, I have a Fish and Seafood category you won’t want to miss!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.


Grilled salmon with gremolata in a cast iron oval plate with citrus and a fork.

Grilled Salmon with Gremolata

Minty Citrus Gremolata is a fresh twist on the classic Italian gremolata… Its fresh flavors elevate this grilled salmon recipe from simple to amazing!
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 477 kcal

Ingredients
  

Minty Citrus Gremolata

  • 1 lime - zest only
  • 1 tangerine or small orange - zest only
  • 1 small grapefruit - zest only
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves - coarsely chopped and packed
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves - coarsely chopped and packed
  • 1 shallot - cut in chunks, (see notes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pinions (pine nuts)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil - (see notes)

Grilled Salmon

  • 2 salmon portions, brushed with oil - 4-6 ounces per serving
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • citrus from the gremolata - halved

Instructions

Minty Citrus Gremolata

  • In the bowl of a small food processor, combine citrus zests, mint, parsley, shallot cut in small pieces, garlic, pinions, and sea salt.
  • Pulse until finely minced.
  • Add olive oil to desired consistency. Set aside.

Grilled Salmon

  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush salmon fillets with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place salmon skin side down and citrus halves on grill. Cook 6-8 minutes before turning until salmon is medium (or to your preference) and citrus has nice char marks.

To Serve

  • Plate salmon. Top with a spoonful of gremolata. Serve citrus alongside to squeeze overtop.

Notes

Macronutrients based on 5 ounces raw salmon and half the gremolata.

Nutrition

Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 38g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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3 Comments

  1. Awww, so happy you are enjoying your travels through Peru. Can’t wait to enjoy your tasty creations born from those inspiring experiences. This Gremolata looks tasty. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Peru was awesome Cindy, just as you said 🙂 We saw and tasted so many wonderful things, but I think the traditional pachamanca forever changed me. The Quechua culture and its people are so rich! I am looking forward to putting my “spin” on some of the dishes we had there, and even considering returning with my husband next year. The University has an ongoing program in the Andes, and he plans to continue taking Honors students on Studies Abroad… Yippee!