Revealed: the genius cooking hack that keeps midges at bay

You won’t believe how simple it is

The great Scottish summer is upon us, and that means one thing – midges.

Our very own Head Chef Paul Green has been working with Scotch Beef PGI and Scotland’s leading midge expert Dr Alison Blackwell to create a delicious way to evade the ferocious Highland Midge using a simple combination of ingredients all grown in The Torridon Kitchen Gardens.

Developed by Paul, the marinade is made from a tasty combination of midge-proof herbs and spices, including rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and garlic. When added to beef and barbecued, the game-changing recipe releases aromas that form a natural midge deterrent, meaning you won’t be eaten alive while eating outdoors.

As well as devising a marinade, chef Paul has also developed an accompanying dip to be served alongside for maximum midge busting, using ingredients like lemon balm, basil and garlic.

Midge-proof marinade recipe (serves two)


  • 5g rosemary
  • 5g thyme
  • 2 bay leaf, torn
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 15ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • A few drops Tabasco
  • A few black peppercorns
  • Good squeeze of lemon juice (and zest if you have a zester)
  • 3-400g Sirloin or Ribeye Scotch Beef steak, cut up into pieces
  • Sea salt


  1. Begin by mixing the herbs, garlic, mustard, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco and oil together in a bowl
  2. Add the chopped pieces of beef, coating well. You can also add vegetables to this marinade e.g., peppers, aubergine or even baby gem lettuce.
  3. Cover and leave to marinade for at least one hour, but you could also leave overnight in the fridge.
  4. Season with sea salt and cook on the BBQ. 

Midge proof dip


  • 1 shallot
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 green chilli
  • 50g flat leaf parsley
  • 20g basil
  • 15g lemon balm
  • 200-250ml  extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Finely chop the shallot, garlic, chilli, parsley, basil, and lemon balm- or you could use a pestle and mortar to grind all the ingredients up.
  2. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with sea salt- you can add more oil to your own preference.

“Using a combination of natural deterrents like rosemary, thyme, garlic and bay leaves can help save summer by making midges less of a nuisance,” Dr Blackwell said of the new hack.

“Each year the season is becoming even longer, so having an arsenal of ingredients to call upon will be key to outwitting the midge. As well as the ingredients used for the Scotch Beef marinade, other herbs like mint, dill, lavender, geranium leaves and lemon balm are also effective, pairing well with beef as well as meats like Scotch Lamb.”

Paul added: “Midges are definitely an unwelcome guest to any Scottish summer feast. I’m always inspired by the robust and resilient produce that can grow in the Scottish Highlands, and what better way to fight nature than with nature, creating the best midge deterring recipe using some of the finest natural ingredients that can be grown in Scotland, like rosemary and thyme.”

Watch Paul making the marinade here.

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