When one thinks of mint, refreshing tea or other
drinks come to mind, but there are many other uses for mint as well!
Pasta, Rice & Buttery Mint Sauce
The flourish of buttery mint added at the end is what makes this so special.
Make this when you have leftover rice, lentils or pasta (or all three).
Otherwise it will be excessively complicated and it should be simple.
1 cup farfel or other dried pasta (2 cups cooked)
1 large onion, diced into ½ inch squares
2 tablespoon olive oil
8 Roma tomatoes seeded and neatly diced
Salt and pepper
2 cups cooked lentils, preferably green
1 ½ cups cooked long grain white rice
4-6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water, then drain and rinse. Sauté the
onion in the oil in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until
well browned, 12-15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and plenty
of pepper, and turn off the heat. Heat the lentils, rice and cooked pasta in
a large skillet with ½ cup water. Season well with salt and pepper, then add
the tomatoes and onion and turn the heat to low. Melt the butter in a small
skillet over medium heat, when it is sizzling, add the mint leaves and fry
for 30 seconds. Grind in plenty of pepper, and the
Herbal Fruit Cooler
2 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice
2 tablespoons crushed fresh apple mint leaves
2 tablespoons crushed fresh lemon balm leaves
½ cup lime juice
½ cup sugar
2 (12 oz) bottles club soda
Heat 1 quart of pineapple juice and pour over mint, lemon balm and sugar.
Steep 30 minutes. Add lime juice and rest of pineapple juice. Store in
refrigerator. When ready to serve, add club soda, pour over crushed ice,
garnish with sprig of mint or balm. Makes about 1 gallon.
A hot summer day calls for a cool drink like the refreshing Cuban mint and
lime cocktail. You can muddle the mint with the sugar together in a mortar
or other vessel and then transfer it to the serving glass.
8 large fresh spearmint leaves plus 1 nice spring for garnish
4 teaspoons superfine sugar
Crushed ice as needed
2 fluid ounces of light rum
Cold club soda as needed
In a tall narrow glass, mash the mint leaves into the sugar with a muddler
or a similar tool (like the handle of a wooden spoon) until the leaves look
crushed and the sugar starts to turn light green, about 30 seconds. Cut the
lime into quarters, squeeze the juice from all four quarters into the glass,
dropping two of the squeezed quarters into the glass as you go. Stir with a
teaspoon until the sugar dissolves into the lime juice. Fill the glass with
crushed ice and pour the rum over the ice. Top with club soda, stir well,
garnish with the mint sprig and serve right away.
Beets with Lemon,
Cilantro and Mint
These herbs also flatter the versatile beet. Sever with Yogurt cheese or
Havarti with dill and dark bread to make a salad.
1 ½ pounds beets, cooked and peeled
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tablespoons juice
2 tablespoons finely diced red onions
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and Pepper
6 tablespoon olive oil
4 handfuls salad greens
¼ cup oil cured black olives
Cut the beets into quarters or sixths. Whisk together the lemon and juice,
onion, herbs, coriander, ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and the oil in a
small bowl. Taste the dressing on a beet and correct the seasoning if
needed. Toss the beets with enough dressing to coat lightly. Toss the greens
with the remaining dressing and arrange them on salad plates. Add the beets
and olives and serve. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Squash with Peppermint
Sometimes at the farmers’ market, people from Persia talk about the cuisine
of their childhoods, where fruits, vegetables and a plate of fresh herbs
were standard parts of every meal. A gift of seeds, or plants sometimes turn
up, in hopes that we can produce the ingredients that they are missing in
their cooking experiments.
The peppermint in my house garden was one of these gifts, and when I bring
it to the market and see anyone who I know is from Iran, or regions north of
the Persian Gulf, I make sure to give them a bunch, because they always
recognize it as their own. The peppermint is quite mild, and very special.
It is what we used in the following recipe, but at twice the rate that this
recipe suggests because we know that most of you will be using the more
common, stronger variety of peppermint.
One half of a yellow onion, julienned and then halved
One pound summer squash cut in angular chunks
Kosher salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Peppermint, chopped fine to make 2 tablespoon
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the onions to sizzle. Season with a
pinch of salt. Turn down to quarter heat and cook the onions until soft. Add
the squash and toss it in the pan. Add another healthy pinch of salt. Cook
the squash until JUST tender (not soft). Turn off the heat. Add the mint.
Toss, toss and serve!
Mint Chip Protein Shake
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup packed spinach
2 tablespoons packed mint leaves
1-2 drops peppermint essential oil*
1/3 cup vanilla protein powder of choice
1 heaping cup ice cubes (8 regular sized)
2 spoonfuls avocado, optional
Stevia, to taste
2 teaspoons cacao nibs
Blend the milk, spinach, mint, protein, avocado, and ice until smooth and
frosty. Taste. Add stevia and cacao nibs. Blend again very briefly breaking
down the nibs into little bits.1 drop Young Living peppermint essential oil.