Summer is the season of marinades. Whether you’re looking for a way to enliven chicken and steaks before placing them on the grill, or you want to give your vegetables or tofu an extra zing, marinades infuse boring dishes with flavor. They can serve double duty as dips and sauces. You can even marinade summer fruit, such as strawberries, peaches or apricots. There’s no limit to what you can do to wake up the flavor of your food.
I like to have go-to marinade recipes on hand that are easy to prepare and don’t require a long time for the food or fruit to soak in it. A favorite marinade that I rely on several times a week that can be used for fish, veggies, tofu or poultry combines fresh garlic, molasses, chopped shallots, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar and olive oil. If your marinade is vinegar based, you can also drizzle it on a garden salad or steamed asparagus and broccoli.
The following tasty and simple marinades will boost the flavor of your summer dishes and make them a big hit at the dinner table.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of orange juice
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of chopped shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon of molasses or brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix the ingredients well.
2. Place your food (such as chicken or salmon) in a shallow dish and marinade from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on desired taste.
3. Turn the food over halfway through the marinating process. This recipe yields enough marinade to coat four salmon steaks.
This is my go-to recipe when I want to accent fish or vegetables. It’s a snap to prepare, and it keeps for about a week in the fridge.
Thai Marinade for Vegetables
- 1 cup sliced yellow squash
- 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, unsweetened
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)
1. Mix together all of the Ingredients for the marinade.
2. In a saucepan, simmer vegetables with the marinade for 4 minutes. Can be served immediately, but will have a richer flavor if allowed to marinate for 1 hour.
3. Reheat or serve at room temperature. Can be stored in the refrigerator for one week.
Even though this marinade uses soy sauce, it isn’t excessively salty. The ginger and orange juice create a nice balance of flavors.
Adapted from Cooks.com
4 to 6 cups of fresh fruit, cut into bite-size (melon, peaches, apples, plums, grapes, etc)
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
- 1 drop of hot pepper oil (optional)
1. Mix the orange juice and honey until it’s well combined.
2. Pour mixture over the fruit.
3. Cover and chill for several hours. Serves 6.
I like spicy foods, so a drop of hot pepper oil will add a little heat to a nice fruit bowl. This is a refreshing addition to your next barbecue.
Ann Martin is a contributing writer for Dinnerware Center, which specializes in dinnerware and flatware sets such as Oneida Flatware. Click here to see the entire collection. Ann loves to experiment with new dishes and prepare nutritious meals for her family. She enjoys traveling to exotic locations and reading good books.
Photo credit: naotakem