Entertaining: Vegetarian Barbecue Marinades
In this post, we will look at the ultimate flavour enhancers in vegetarian barbecues: marinades.
What are the marinades?
Basically, marinades are flavoured liquids. We barbecue our vegetables and mock meats in them. By doing that, we enhance their flavour and keep them moist, especially when cooking over hot coals. This is quite important for us as the ingredients we use do not have high fat content to keep them moist during the cooking process.
Commonly Used Marinade Ingredients
• Oil (olive oil, corn oil, peanut oil, walnut oil, sesame oil and hazelnut oil are all suitable.
• Vinegar (balsamic vinegar, red or white wine vinegar are all good)
• Fruit juice (especially orange, lime and lemon)
• Garlic (crushed or chopped finely)
• Herbs, Fresh or Dried (parsley, rosemary, coriander (cilantro), lemongrass, oregano, thyme and mint are the most commonly used ones)
• Ginger (fresh ginger root)
• Chillies (both red and green)
• Spices (salt, pepper, ground chilli, etc.)
• Wine (both red and white wine vinegars)
• Honey or vegan substitutes like rice syrup, agave or maple syrup
• Sun-dried tomatoes
• Soy sauce
• Yoghurt (unsweetened)
• Vegetarian Worchester Sauce
Tips for marinading tofu
Tofu needs to be marinaded longer than vegetables because of its neutral flavour profile. It means that tofu will absorb all the additional flavours from the marinades you use.
Tips for marinading vegetables
Vegetables, on the other hand, do not need to be marinaded for a long time. I’d say, 30 minutes is usually sufficient. However, the longer that they are left in the marinade, the more flavour they absorb.
When marinading vegetables:
• Make the marinade and transfer it to a large enough container with a lid. If the vegetables are on skewers, I prefer to use a shallow rectangular container with a lid so that I can shake the whole thing during the process with less effort.
• Add the vegetables, turning them in the marinade to cover all their surfaces.
• Put the lid on and leave in the refrigerator until required, shaking the vegetables occasionally so that the flavour of the marinade penetrates evenly.
• Separate the vegetables from the marinade before barbecuing.
• Keep the marinade and use it for basting the vegetables while they cook.
Please note that, most marinades will stay fresh in the refrigerator for two to three days.
My favourite BBQ marinade
The recipe below is my favourite barbecue marinade of all time. It’s simple yet delicious.
Lemon and Garlic BBQ Marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Marinade your vegetables in this marinade for at least an hour, turning them often.
• Baste the vegetables with it while cooking.