A Marinade Serenade

After a lazy summer day hanging at the beach or pool, I don’t usually want to come home and engage in orchestrating a complicated meal. So when I came across a Bon Appétit article on versatile marinades, I thought BINGO we could use one of them on some grilled lamb loin chops we recently purchased at Costco, and for a very good price, BTW.


This bright Garlicky Lemon-Thyme-Marinade is a sure-fire hit (besides lamb, it would be great on chicken, swordfish, and/or potatoes.) The recipe below is for a dozen chops and since we were only cooking five small steaks, we cut it in half, which was plenty. In order to get the most flavor from the mixture, I made it up and secured the lamb and marinade in a ziploc for nearly seven hours (while we were at the pool) before we grilled.

Once you have a taste, you’ll be signing a serenade over the bold, savory flavor of this marinade. It hit all the right notes to complement the meat.


Our first crop of seasonal green beans were ripe for the picking. In the Spring, we planted two kinds, flat Italian and green pole beans. For a quick simple side, we steamed some of the flat ones and then dressed them in a little good EVOO with a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper. Sliced heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and a basil chiffonade topped with a drizzle of balsamic glaze rounded out the meal.

The jar of real pure Vermont syrup, upper right, was given to us from my coworker Wendy—thanks lady!


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice; more wedges for serving
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped garlic (about 12 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 lamb rib chops, trimmed


  • In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Add the garlic, thyme leaves (and a  few sprigs, if you like), pepper flakes, 1-1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and stir to combine.
  • Put the meat in a nonreactive (stainless steel, glass, or plastic) container and pour the marinade over them, turning to coat on all sides (or use a ziploc.) Marinate the lamb chops for at least 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to grill, heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (400°F to 475°F).
  • Remove the lamb chops from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Grill the chops, turning once, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Season with more salt to taste, and garnish with lemon wedges and thyme sprigs, if you like.

Marinade by Ronne Day


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