Vinaigrettes and Marinades



Vinaigrettes and Marinades

By Gail Gordon Oliver

Edible Toronto magazine

Summertime is grilling time. And what teams better with grilled foods than crisp salads and grilled vegetables? These four simple dressings perform double-duty as both vinaigrettes for salads and cooked vegetables and marinades for meats, poultry, fish, tofu, tempeh, and any other foods that take well to marinating.

A few reminders when marinating foods:

• Most marinades contain some sort of acid such as vinegar, citrus, wine and/or yogurt. Use nonreactive containers—glass, stainless steel or ceramic—and avoid the use of aluminum containers and zip-top plastic bags (aluminum or plasticizer chemicals will leach into your food).

• To avoid mushy fish, make sure never to marinate fish or seafood longer than 30 minutes. Meats and poultry should be marinated for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

• Immediately discard any marinades that have been used with meats, poultry or fish. Do not reuse them or serve them.


I sometimes make this more assertive by upping the quantity of Worcestershire and hot sauce and adding freshly grated horseradish (or bottled horseradish in a pinch). Bloody Mary salad, anyone? Makes about 2/3 cup.

1/2 cup tomato juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp celery seed (optional)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dash (or more) hot sauce


This recipe is great as a salad dressing but I love using it for marinating thin cuts of short ribs (often called Miami ribs or kalbi ribs) or pounded boneless chicken thighs prior to grilling. Add about 1/4 cup of crunchy or creamy peanut butter to the recipe for a delicious peanut sauce that’s great tossed with noodles or steamed vegetables or used as a dipping sauce for grilled kebobs. Makes about 1 cup.

1/3 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp coconut sugar or 1 1/2 tbsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp Asian chili paste, plus more if needed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion, minced


This mix of ingredients provides a bright burst of flavour when drizzled over delicate greens like spinach and leaf lettuce. It’s also ideal for marinating fish, seafood, and poultry. Makes about 2/3 cup.

1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp sherry vinegar or 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp minced fresh chives (optional)
1/4 tsp dried thyme

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Whisk in the juice, honey, chives (if using) and thyme.


Equally fabulous when tossed with fresh or steamed vegetables or as a marinade for chicken, fish, or seafood. Marinate bone-in or boneless chicken for a minimum of three hours or up to a full day. The live cultures and lactic acid in the yogurt apparently act as a tenderizer for poultry, producing juicy, succulent chicken. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

1 tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp finely grated ginger root
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cayenne

Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander and cumin and cook, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds. Transfer the toasted spices to a medium bowl. Whisk in the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, salt, turmeric and cayenne.

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