Marinades are a simple way to add new, interesting flavors to an otherwise plain (dare we say boring?) food. They can also be a great way to keep your dish healthy. By marinating your dish in fresh ingredients, you’ll be less likely to add too much salt or flavor it with high-calorie condiments. (We’re looking at you, ranch dressing.)
And marinades are incredibly versatile. Not only can you make them from a million combinations of ingredients, but you can use them to flavor so many foods: fish, poultry, steak, pork, tofu, tempeh, beans, veggies, and so on. Some marinades, like this one, can even double as a salad dressing—whether it’s on greens or a cold pasta salad.
This marinade from cardiologist and chef Mike Fenster, MD, has a similar structure as a vinaigrette, using an acid (lemon), an emulsifier (dijon mustard), and olive oil. (Check out our ultimate guide to making a homemade vinaigrette.) These three ingredients not only complement each other flavor-wise, but together they form a cohesive, sauce-like emulsion that is thin enough to pour around but thick enough to stick to whatever you’re marinating.
What makes Dr. Mike’s marinade more unique is the Herbes de Provence seasoning. This herb blend is unique to southern France, a region known as Provence. Because of its Mediterranean flavor, this marinade works beautifully on seafood like a fresh salmon filet (try it out in this dijon-marinated salmon).
For a fun, Mediterranean-inspired salad, try Dr. Mike’s marinade as a dressing with blanched green beans, sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion. (Need help? No problem. Here’s how to blanch with ease, slice cherry tomatoes in one simple motion, and chop onions without crying.)