Marinades are seasoned liquid, usually of vinegar or wine with oil, herbs, spices, etc. in which you soak meat, poultry, fish, seafood, soy protein, or vegetables to enrich their flavors or to tenderize them before cooking. Although there are many complex marinades, the simplest ones are made from equal parts oil and vinegar with some salt and pepper added to further enhance flavor. Flavored oils and balsamics are perfect for this job and particularly helpful for creating delicious healthy meals on busy weekdays.

To make a marinade, mix equal parts vinegar and EVOO or other high-quality seed or nut oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, a spice blend, or both. The vinegar contains acid which tenderizes the meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables; you can substitute any acidic liquid such as lemon juice, orange juice, or wine. The oil holds the ingredients together and keeps everything moist; the seasonings add flavor.

How long to marinate

Meats – from three hours to overnight

Poultry – from one to two hours

Vegetables, fish, and shellfish -not more than an hour.

Basic Marinade Recipe


½ cup F. Oliver’s Tuscan Garden EVOO
½ cup F. Oliver’s Special Reserve Balsamic
Three cloves garlic, minced
One small onion, diced
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix well in a bowl or shallow dish and add meat, fish, vegetable., Cover and place in refrigerator for the desired time.