- Difficulty Easy
Mint is probably one of the freshest, most versatile herbs I know.
No matter what’s happening in your kitchen, this little herb can jump to your rescue to add a little burst of Spring freshness to any dish. Mint is also one of the easiest herbs to have growing … next time you buy a bunch leave a few leaves in some water and within a week, you’ll see little roots start to sprout from the base of the stems.
Throw them in a pot, put them in a corner of a garden bed or really any little nook or cranny near the kitchen. A few weeks later and you’ll have fresh mint on hand – and the more you use it, the more luxuriously it will grow.
The only thing to keep in mind is that it does need a little dose of sunshine each day and if your possums are anything like the ones that roam the trees around our house, you’ll need to keep the mint in a pot that’s out of their reach.
Once you’ve got a big, bushy bunch of mint let yourself get creative and start introducing this fabulous spring flavour.
Here’s a few ideas to use fresh mint:
If, like me, you just love an icy cold, fresh and minty Mint Mojito (or the non alcoholic kind), drag out your mortar and pestle and get pounding. Combine mint leaves, lime, ice, white rum, sugar and soda water in a long tall glass and enjoy. See the full recipe here.
While you’re sipping on your Mojito, you might like to whip up some Crushed broad bean, feta and mint dip with chargrilled turkish bread. This recipe from Donna Hay really makes mint the hero and makes an amazing lunch or a starter for a Spring dinner.
And when dinner’s over, you can’t sleep or you’re looking for a fresh alternative to caffeine, brew yourself some Mint Tea. A friend of mine has made this for years and it always reminds me of our dinner party days before children, before mortgages and when staying up late didn’t mean a crippling hangover for a week. It’s a beautiful end to a meal that leaves you feeling refreshed with a comfy tum.
When you’re Shopping for Mint, look for vibrant green, healthy looking stems, free from dark spots and yellowing.
And then once it’s home, Store the Mint for up to a week by wrapping the mint in damp (not wet) paper towel and storing in a sealed plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge. Or you can pop the stems in a glass of water in the kitchen or refrigerator (this is where my sprigs sprout!).
Mint also freezes quite well – I like to pick off the leaves and then store them in the freezer in mini ziplock bags. Others like to freeze the leaves in water in ice-cube trays. Either way, you’ll have mint whenever you need it.
No matter what your cooking style, mint’s always a welcome addition to the menu – especially when Spring is here and everyone’s happy to have a little zing in their step!
What do you love to do with mint?