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Thyme, Shallot, and Lemon Marinade

This classic marinade pairs nicely with almost any meat, particularly shellfish and fish fillets. Don't marinate shellfish for longer than twenty minutes; the acid in the lemon juice will cook the flesh.

  • Yield: Makes 2/3 cup; enough for 2 pounds of meat or fish

Photography: James Baigrie

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2003


  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Whisk together juice, wine, and oil in a shallow nonreactive dish. Arrange meat or fish in a single layer in dish; turn to coat. Evenly scatter thyme, shallots, and lemon slices over fish. Cover; refrigerate, turning meat occasionally.

  2. Remove meat or fish from refrigerator, and let it come to a cool room temperature before cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Cook as desired.

Cook's Notes

Marinating times:

•Shellfish: 20 minutes
•Cheese, tofu, and vegetables: 30 minutes
•Thin and flaky fish fillets: 30 minutes
•Thick and fatty fish fillets: 1 hour
•Beef, chicken, game, lamb, and pork: 6 to 24 hours

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