To accompany your sizzling summer BBQs, why not make homemade marinades to really sensationalise your dishes with that extra flavour.
Here are my top three quick-to-mix marinade recipes that really knock socks off.
- Sweet Chilli
This is one of the easiest to make because you start it off with white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or similar and then add some spice. Start with garlic, ginger and maybe even soy. Then, you add in chillies from the garden come summertime. These plants love heat and so can be kept inside as perennial houseplants.
Different varieties are best picked at certain stages of their development. Yellow fruits generally ripen red, while many green chillies ripen to yellow. The more frequently you pick them, the more they produce, so give them a try during development. Any extra can be stored in the freezer. Then, once you’ve got your desired peppers ready and picked, you can dice these. The smaller you can get them the better, and you really don’t need much. When it comes to chilli, a little goes a long way and it’s better to add in a pink to taste and keep adding to the desired heat than the other way around.
- Italian Herb
For this, you actually need red wine vinegar. Mix it two parts to one-part olive oil. Now, you can be quite inventive with what you incorporate here. Most herbs are ready to harvest from June onwards, but if you’re growing inside on a windowsill, you should have these ready to pick now. You can either keep it simple and treat it somewhat like a pesto, with basil as the main ingredient alongside crushed garlic. Or opt for a mixed herb base, if you’ve plenty homegrown herbs to choose from, and it will taste incredible.
For this, mix oregano, thyme and parsley together and add a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar to lift those flavours. The great thing about this recipe is that any extra can be drizzled over salads as a refreshing dressing.
- Classic mint
What better way to serve up lamb booked on the BBQ than one marinated in a zesty mint sauce. With this, there’s no need to hold back, the more mint, the better! Wisk together some olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Then, pick your mint leaves and finely dice. Add enough so that the oil mixture is swimming in the mint leaves but not so much that the liquid cannot cover them.
With mint plants ready to harvest from May right through to October, this is a really versatile recipe. Mix your mint with yoghurt and you can use it to enhance grilled chicken alongside lime or lemon. Bear in mind that not all mint varieties are best for culinary uses, variety Mentha spicata ‘Tashkent’ with give a strong spicy flavour to satisfy or you can go for varieties that give notes of apple, chocolate and even pineapple.
Marinades are wonderful for lifting our homecooked dishes to the next level, just brush evenly over before adding to the heat. To avoid burning, remember that those containing sugar will caramelise faster on high heat.