• generous ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted
  • 2 bunches fresh, flat-leaf parsley, washed and drained
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1 tsp. Gustare Fleur de Sel, plus more to season hens
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season hens
  • ¼ cup Gustare Milanese Gremolata Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more to season hens
  • 2 Cornish game hens, approximately 1¾ - 2 pounds each



Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on an olive-oil brushed sheet tray, and toast for 20 minutes or until golden and aromatic. Allow to cool.


While hazelnuts are toasting, remove leaves from parsley stems.


Place all leaves, along with cooled hazelnuts, garlic, zest, seasonings, and Gustare Milanese Gremolata olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor.


Pulse several times, until ingredients are finely chopped, and resemble a pesto. Do not pulverize into a puree. Individual flecks of citrus zest, garlic and nuts should remain visible.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees prior to roasting your game hens.


Split game hens in half lengthwise. Run a knife just underneath skin and gently use fingers to loosen skin from flesh.


Season hens with Fleur de Sel and pepper on both sides. Drizzle with Gustare Milanese Gremolata olive oil and rub to coat thoroughly.


Spread ¼ cup of gremolata mixture underneath skin of each game hen. Be sure to spread it throughout leg, thigh and wing regions and not simply the breast. Any excess mixture can be spread over the skin as well. This will only further enhance flavor.


Roast hens for approximately 1 hour, basting them generously in the lovely juices every 15 minutes. Game hens are fully roasted when golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh reads 165 degrees. Cover and rest 5 minutes upon removal from oven.


Gremolata “pesto” can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or frozen for several months. Hens may be split and stuffed the night before so they are ready to pop in the oven after work or just before guests arrive for dinner. Accompaniments can be prepared while hens are roasting and the tantalizing aroma wafs throughout your home.

Products Featured In This Recipe