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Lemon Mint Marinade

Nanny’s Lemon Mint Marinade

You will enjoy Nanny’s Lemon Mint Marinade. It will give your grilled meats a fresh taste.

The weather here in the northeast is showing signs that fall is near.  The heat is not as oppressive and the nights are cooler. There is still time to gather friends and family for a weekend barbecue.  Try my grandmother’s delicious marinade for steak, chicken, or just about anything you cook up on the grill.  The flavor is fantastic!  The fresh lemon juice and the fresh mint, either picked from an herb garden or bought at your local market, complement each other to add a zesty flavor to your grilled dishes.

As a child at my uncle’s summer house in Long Island, I remember weekends at his bungalow with the family. Fun at the beach, learning how to ride a bike, and crabbing at Shinnecock canal late summer—all fond memories that seem like a lifetime ago. 

Barbecue Time

Barbecuing was done most nights out in the backyard of this quaint summer place.  At dinnertime, we ate the usual summer grilled dishes.  I really enjoy one flavor until this day, the grilled flank steak with my grandmother’s lemon and mint marinade.  Nanny’s lemon mint marinade adds a nice fresh mint flavor to your grilled meats, potatoes, or veggies.  A lot of you may think, “Mint? I don’t want my food to taste like gum or candy.”  Rest assured, your food will not taste like gum or candy—lol!  The Mint adds a hint of its wonderful flavor to give your food a fresh taste, especially when paired with lemon and other herbs and spices.  Try this easy marinade from ‘the old country’ for something different at your dinner table.  Enjoy!!!

Try growing your own mint indoors. This site is gives some great tips. Add an Italian Lemon Ice for fantastic dessert.

Lemon Mint Marinade


6 large lemons juiced [Do not use bottled lemon juice from concentrate]
1 bunch of Mint Leaves [10 stems]
½ cup olive oil [or preferred oil]
3-4 minced cloves of garlic
1 TBSP. dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking twine – approx. 12 inches [bakery string can used also]


Prep for the Mint ‘Brush’ and Marinade Wash and dry mint leaves with stems. Snip off and reserve at least 4-6 mint leaves to add to the marinade mixture. Juice lemons. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and mint leaves. Tear mint leaves to release more of their flavor before you place them in the bowl.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
How to make the Mint ‘Brush.’ Gather the washed and dried mint as if you were making a bouquet.
Using cooking twine, tightly wrap (approximately an inch up from the bottom) a few times around and finish with a knot. Be sure to reserve extra cooking twine on both ends to loop and make a knot.
To add a nice touch, make a bow after you secure the bouquet with knotted cooking twine.
Place the mint brush in lemon mixture, loosely cover with plastic wrap or a paper towel and set aside until you are ready to serve.

Marinade for 2 lbs. of flank steak or 2 lbs. of chicken [cutlets or chicken pieces]

Cook meats, potatoes, and vegetables to desired doneness

Note: I prefer to make a double batch of lemon and mint marinade—one batch to marinate what I’m grilling and the other batch to add to a small bowl with the mint brush for guests to add the extra marinade to the dish.  Nowadays, we are more careful to not cross-contaminate uncooked meat juices with other foods. 


For the Marinade Only

If you choose not to make the mint brush, add a few extra torn mint leaves to the lemon mixture.   Allow meats, potatoes, or veggies to marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Be sure to toss meats or veggies a couple of times while marinating in the refrigerator.


Enjoy your meal!

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