The Herbaceous Condiment Ina Garten Uses To Top Green Beans

Ina Garten is no stranger to elevating dishes, sometimes in unusual ways. She showed us that adding coffee to chocolate deepens the chocolate flavor and the genius of smearing mango chutney on grilled cheeses is genius, via the Food Network. Her signature cooking style may be using ingredients in approachable, simple meals, but she knows how to wow with flavor, too. Not even vegetables are safe from her magic. Many prefer veggies with a bit of extra flavor to help them go down and this is where Garten comes in. For example, her charred carrot recipe includes orange juice and balsamic vinegar, per The New York Times, and she likes to add lemon zest to pureed potatoes, per Barefoot Contessa.

Garten has also taken on a Thanksgiving favorite — the green bean. Around the holidays, green beans are often combined with mushroom soup and topped with crunchy onions to amp up their flavor, but Garten amplifies the green vegetable with a bright, Italian condiment.

Gimme gremolata

Condiments don't always come in jars or bottles, in fact, a condiment can be anything that is designed to magnify the flavor of food. Gremolata, an Italian herb seasoning, is a mixture of fresh parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, per Good Housekeeping. When chopped and combined all together you are left with a condiment that is slightly hot (from the raw garlic) and a little bitter, yet bright. According to The Spruce Eats, it is traditionally served with the rich veal dish osso bucco but goes well with any meat or fish dish. It is a bit like pesto sauce and, thus, welcomes substitutions and additions that cater to the chef's tastes like using different herbs and adding nuts. Ina Garten certainly believes this when it comes to her green beans gremolata.

According to Barefoot Contessa, Garten uses French green beans or haricot verts — of course, she does — and blanches them for a few minutes before dropping them in an ice bath to keep them a little crunchy and bright green. Meanwhile, to make her gremolata, she combines chopped Italian parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest, grated Parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts. She sautés the green beans in olive oil to warm them through and then tosses them with the gremolata and some salt and pepper before serving. 

It's a downright delicious and exciting way to eat your greens, and the gremolata would work beautifully with a number of other vegetables, like roasted cauliflower or carrots.