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Nothing says summer like a meal loaded up with food from the grill. But it can be stressful trying to prepare meat, seafood, and vegetables all at the same time. If you try to season everything individually, you won’t just create a ton of extra work and dishes for yourself, but you also risk having a meal where each component just tastes too different to come together cohesively. That’s why we’re kind of obsessed with Giada De Laurentiis’ all-purpose lemon garlic marinade. She shared the marinade as part of her recipe for saffron orzo topped with grilled chicken, uric acid and levoxyl shrimp, and summer vegetables, and while the whole meal is definitely a summer showstopper worth making, the marinade can be used for so much more.
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The marinade ingredients are pretty simple, but the summery fresh flavor really will make pretty much anything you’re grilling taste amazing. De Laurentiis uses a blend of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley to make her marinade. But there’s one ingredient De Laurentiis recommends that will really take the flavor in her lemon garlic marinade recipe to the next level: smoked salt.
Saltverk Birch Smoked Icelandic Sea Salt
You can just use Kosher salt, but smoked salt
will add a wonderfully woodsy, savory flavor to the marinade, and it’s also a hack for making food cooked on a gas grill or indoor grill pan taste more authentic.
Once the marinade is mixed up, De Laurentiis tosses it with the chicken and shrimp for an hour or more, and brushes the rest over corn, mushrooms, and peppers before grilling.
Giada's Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita: A Cookbook
While the meat is marinating, De Laurentiis whips up a batch of saffron
-infused orzo. It’s easier than making risotto, but still provides a creamy, starchy, flavorful bed for your grilled meats and veggies. As the juices from your grilled food drip into the orzo, it boosts the flavor even more, so each bite of the rice-shaped pasta tastes of saffron, the smoky grill, lemon, and garlic. In a word: summer.
The combination is totally delicious, but you can also use her lemon garlic marinade in other recipes. It’s particularly divine with chicken and shrimp, but we can imagine it with any grilled seafood (lobster, swordfish, salmon!); grilled eggplant, asparagus, and green beans; grilled potato salad; or even used to make a summery pasta dish. Leave it to De Laurentiis, the queen of Italian cooking,
to come up with such a versatile summer recipe!
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls
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