A simple DIY marinade that adds a TON of flavor from fresh herbs. Perfect for your favorite protein or produce – and I’ve included a formula to DIY any kind of marinade you like!
Another recipe from my “Grilling with Herbs” cooking class!
This Simple DIY Marinade is something that we make in the Rochford house multiple times a week (or some variation of it!).
I toss it with veggies, marinate chicken before grilling and will even use it on fish. It seriously adds SO much flavor, keeps my chicken and fish tender, and is a great way to use up summer herbs.
Making a marinade at home is SO simple and really only requires a few things that you probably always have on hand:
Fat: Using a fat in the marinade helps whatever you are marinating retain moisture. My favorite thing to use is extra virgin olive oil – a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs!).
Acid: The acid actually lowers the pH of whatever you are marinating, which increases the water holding capacity – again making whatever you are using this simple DIY marinade on super juicy and tender. I typically use a red wine or white wine vinegar or lemon juice, but the options are endless here! Other things that could fill the acidic component of a marinade are:
any kind of citrus (lime, orange, lemon, grapefruit)*
*When marinating with citrus, make sure to limit the marinade time to 30-90 minutes. If you let it soak any longer, the citrus ends up “cooking” the food (ceviche anyone?).
Flavoring: This is where I toss in ALL.THE.HERBS. I literally just throw in a big handful of fresh herbs, but you can get creative here too. Other things that add awesome flavor:
soy sauce or tamari (gluten free)
vegetables (carrots, celery, garlic, onion)
Once you have your marinade tossed together, let it sit for 30 min to 4 hours (or 90 minutes if you are using citrus), season with a little salt and pepper then toss on the grill or roast in the oven.
Another thing to note is that marinating meat specifically helps prevent harmful char from occurring and allows the meat to cook more evenly.
Also – always marinate in the fridge and make sure to toss the excess marinade as soon as you are done with it! If you want extra sauce for dipping or to use when serving the dish, make a separate batch 🙂