Thyme, Shallot, and Lemon Marinade

Photo: James Baigrie
Makes 2/3 cup; enough for 2 pounds of meat or fish

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.


  • 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 ¼-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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