Easy Salmon Recipe with Fresh Horseradish Root and Parsley Gremolata

by Pamela

horseradish root, fresh horseradish, gremolata, gremolata recipe, recipes with horseradish

Let’s start things off by saying I am not someone who eats spicy things (insert your own perverted joke here…go on…I know you want to).  But I have a total love affair with the sinus clearing effects of horseradish.  Chinese mustard?  Slather it on thick.  Wasabi?  It ain’t a good sushi dinner til your eyes tear and your nose runs.  Regular horseradish?  Couldn’t eat oysters without it.  It might be an addiction for me.  If I’ve got a head cold…screw the Vick’s Vapo Rub…gimme horseradish to clear those sinuses out. So why not add a bit of this magic to an easy salmon recipe?

You’re of course familiar with horseradish sauce and the serving of said sauce with prime rib.  It’s like peanut butter and jelly, Orville and Wilbur Wright, George Clooney and….and….well, let’s just say that the pairing of horseradish with prime rib is pretty much a necessity at this point.  But what about using fresh horseradish on something other than red meat?  Something like fish.  AAAACK!  Pearl clutch!  Fainting spell. etc. etc.

I realize that recipes with horseradish usually don’t go past the condiment section in most cookbooks.  Things like cocktail sauce, bloody mary’s, horseradish sauce and the like.  But this time we’re going to use that horseradish root so that it’s an integral part of this dish, not some sloppy seconds afterthought.

horseradish root

You’ll notice that I said fresh horseradish.  Yes kids, horseradish doesn’t just come from a jar (much like eggs don’t just come from a carton).  It’s actually called horseradish root and yes, it is a root vegetable.  I haven’t included a picture of it here because every piece of horseradish at my market just looked a little to phallic.  I couldn’t find any with its green tops still attached and since I didn’t want you to think you had stumbled across a pr0n site, I opted to leave it out.  But it is becoming more widely available at the grocery store.  You’ll find it over by things like the lemongrass and fennel.  So recipes with horseradish can, and do, go beyond grinding it up and putting it in jars.  If that’s all you could do with it, you wouldn’t find it at the grocery.

This dish was inspired by another LA restaurant that serves a horseradish root and parsley gremolata over salmon.  I decided to do my own take on the dish with a horseradish root, lemon and parsley gremolata.  You’ll find a gremolata recipe (or 2) here on the site.  I put a hazelnut orange gremolata on sunchokes and a lemon mint gremolata over lamb chops.  I prefer doing this to a heavy sauce which tends to cover up the flavors of the dish.  A gremolata’s purpose is to brighten and enhance what you put it on.

gremolata recipe

If you’ve never worked with fresh horseradish before, here’s a little warning…it can be extremely potent once you start grating or chopping it.  Kind of like a really strong onion.  I highly recommend you open a window in your kitchen before you begin grating the root.  I didn’t have any problems like that with mine, but I helped my dad process about 20 pounds of the stuff one time and it wasn’t pretty.

I make my gremolata pretty chunky.  I like being able to really see and taste the different ingredients that are in it.  And with the silky texture of the baked salmon, it’s a perfect compliment in texture.

I promise you that once you make this, you’ll be looking for lots more things to put this on and for lots more ways you can use horseradish root in your cooking.  I’ve got some more recipes coming in the next couple of months too.  Like I said before…I’m addicted!

And just to help you out a bit, if you’re looking for a wine to pair with this dish (yep, I’m going to be doing some wine pairings from time to time on here – since I’ve had people e-mail questions about such things), I served this dish with a Chardonnay called Aquinas.  It’s around $20 and should be fairly easy to find.  Even though it’s barrel fermented (which means it’s been aged in wooden barrels) it is not a heavy wine.  It’s got a silky feeling in your mouth and you’ll taste lots of fruit flavors like pineapple and mango.  It’s got a little bit of a lemony taste too that works really well with the gremolata in this recipe.  This is a wine that you could also, very easily drink, without food too.

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Recipe: Easy Salmon Recipe with Fresh Horseradish Root and Parsley Gremolata


For Gremolata

  • 1 Cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Horseradish (make sure to peel it first)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For Baked Salmon

  • 2 12 Ounce, Center Cut, Salmon Fillets (1″ – 1 1/4″ thick)
  • Olive Oil


For Gremolata

  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix to thoroughly combine.
  2. You can set this aside for a room temperature gremolata (which is what I do) or you can put this refrigerator to chill.

For Baked Salmon

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Lightly oil a baking dish with the olive oil.
  3. Place fillets, skin side up in the center of the dish. Make sure that there is some room between them.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Internal temperature (of the fish) should be 125 degrees Farenheit. Or you can gently pull back some of the fish to see if it is done to your liking.
  5. Remove from oven.
  6. Remove fillets from dish and place on individual plates.
  7. Top with gremolata.
  8. Serve.


This would also be delicious on grilled or poached salmon.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Diet type: Pescatarian

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: USA (General)





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Amy Ayers March 2, 2013 at 5:29 am

This sounds fantastic!! I picked up some salmon from the farmer’s market (which is now in the freezer) and have some leftover horseradish root (from making prepared horseradish) that I had no idea what to do with. Looking forward to trying it.

Pamela March 2, 2013 at 11:08 am

Hi Amy,

I love that you made your own prepared horseradish! I haven’t done that yet, and really should. The fresh horseradish doesn’t have as strong of a punch as the prepared does, it’s kind of surprising. btw….you can also plant your leftover root. I just plopped one in my garden a few months ago and it’s really taking off. They do spread a lot, so you’ll need to either keep an eye on it, or plant it in a small contained area.

Can’t wait to hear what you think of the salmon dish. ENJOY!

Manon March 14, 2012 at 7:48 am

I love horseradish and it sdouns great in this recipe. That nice piquant flavor goes so well with a ‘sweet’ fish like salmon. Don’t think I’ll wait for Fish Friday to try this . . .

Lora February 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I’m with you on spicy. I never added horseradish to a gremolata and now am so intrigued. Looks fantastic!

Nicole @ The Daily Dish February 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm

This looks absolutely fantastic, Pamela! I’m so glad you came and linked up with today’s linky and I repinned it as well!

Nancy@acommunaltable February 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I am a huge gremolata fan – throw it on all kinds of dishes but I’ve never made it with fresh horseradish.. that of course is going to change ASAP – this looks and sounds amazing! Just the kind of thing I love to make~

Pamela February 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Nancy, this is FOR SURE a recipe that’s right up your alley. I was eating it by the spoonful (yeah, I know, I’m weird).

Jameson Fink February 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

That gremolata sounds fantastic; you are so right about fresh horseradish. Accept no substitute! I always think of my Grandfather when I think of horseradish. He used to grate root after root of it to jar to try and earn some extra money during The Great Depression. (Didn’t mean to be a downer, but it’s interesting how certain foods recall stories, family, and history.)

Pamela February 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Not a downer at all Jameson. That horseradish grating story in the post was root that my dad dug up when my grandmother’s house was sold. My dad couldn’t let the horseradish, that my grandfather had planted, go to someone else.

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