lime and harissa yogurt marinade

A while ago I was singing the praises of yogurt marinades, especially for the grill. They stay put better than oil marinades and of course they add a creamy element. Not that I grill chicken or meats that might dry out on the grill, but if you do, I bet this would be the marinade for you too. I like it on mushrooms, zucchini and other juicy vegetables that I cut into thick slices to be skewered or grilled in a wire basket.

Greek yogurt is thicker than most but you can strain regular yogurt for an hour or two in the fridge to get the same consistency. Simply spoon a little more than a cup of regular yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl and then refrigerate. And while just a little harissa adds the heat here and tons of flavour, a good substitute would be chili paste or sauce with a pinch of smoked paprika. You can take other liberties too, swapping lime juice for vinegar, honey for the marmalade. Just taste to find the balance of tart, sweet and spicy that you’d like. The marinade mellows a little on the grill so don’t be afraid to make it a tad punchy.

yogurt marinated mushrooms

Lime and Harissa Yogurt Marinade

Though this is a lime and harissa marinade, feel free to use another chili paste and maybe a pinch of smoked paprika as a substitute.

1 c greek yogurt (or regular yogurt that’s been strained over a bowl in cheese cloth)
3 tbs lime juice
1 tsp harissa paste
1 tsp marmalade or other fruit jelly or jam
1 tsp chopped scallion, white and green parts
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt

Combine all of the ingredients and set aside for 20 minutes. Then use marinade to coat cut vegetables for half an hour to an hour before grilling them.

Note: This marinade is slightly acidic so if reserving or marinating for more time than stated above, use a non-reactive container (glass, for instance).

Makes about 1 1/4 cups (which covers about 4 cups of cut vegetables like mushrooms and zucchinis).