Food: Beginning to barbecue

It’s grilling season, folks! The beautiful time of year when the sun hangs around longer, the weather is actually warm and there’s probably a mosquito or two lurking around the patio.

However, not everyone has perfected their barbecue technique; some have yet to even consider the pretty basic world of marinating. Adding a marinade to your meat before firing up the grill gives it plenty of flavor with minimal effort — it’s as simple as dunking your cut of meat in a bowl of Italian salad dressing.

In a recent attempt to pack my steak with a little extra flavor, I tried marinating it for the first time. Of course, I’ve had marinated beef before, courtesy of my local butcher, but I had never attempted to make a marinade on my own before. By poking around in my pantry, I came up with a savory recipe for my meals this grilling season.

If you’re looking to amp up your steak and wow friends and family at upcoming barbecues, try my marinade.

Pantry Steak Marinade

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup balsamic vinaigrette

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon oregano

2 tablespoons Grey Poupon mustard

salt

pepper

Take a fork to the meat and make small punctures all over it to allow the marinade to soak in. Mix the marinade ingredients together, making sure to stir well so the oils won’t separate, and let the steak marinate in the mixture for three hours. Grill to your preference.

I chose to pair this steak with roasted asparagus and garlic-sauteéd mushrooms, and let me tell you, it was good. If you’re wondering how to season asparagus, I’m partial to sprinkling the spears with salt, pepper and paprika. Now, go forth and enjoy the fiery glow of grilling season.