An ancient herb, mint has been used in recipes since neolithic times. Unlike other herbs, mint is just as good fresh as it is dried, able to be used in a wide variety of beverages and cuisines.
Mint grows easily and abundantly, two years ago I purchased a mint plant from my local grocery store, I forgot to take the herb indoors during the winter months but the next year it grew just as vigorously as it did the year before – with little to no effort on my part, except of course water and sunlight as most herbs need.
1. Mint Sauce – this delicious sauce is quick and easy to make, tastes great with roasted potatoes, buttered vegetables or meats especially roasted lamb.
Grab a bushel of mint leaves and finely chop them. Add 1 tsp of sugar, a pinch of salt, 3 tbsps wine vinegar and 3 tbs of boiling water. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar, add the mint to a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the mint and stir in the vinegar mix. Let cool then serve with a dish – this sauce needs to be eaten immediately after it cools, I wouldn’t keep for longer than a few hours and definitely not overnight.
2. Mint Butter – extremely tasty for baked potatoes, boiled potatoes or steamed veggies
Take 4 oz of butter (room temperature), 1 finely chopped small clove of garlic, a bushel of mint leaves – be sure to finely chop them, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and salt and black pepper. Mash the butter first with a fork then add the rest of your ingredients and mix them together well. Shape the mint butter into a roll and wrap in foil. It should hold up nicely in the fridge for about a week or serve immediately!
3. Mint Vinegar – makes a great salad dressing or for marinades
Younger mint leaves are preferably. Using about a teacup size of mint leaves, loosely packed, wash the mint and discard the stalks. Pat dry and put leaves into a a clean bottle with a screw on cap or lid. Heat either white wine or cider vinegar in a pot without boiling it. About 1 1/2 cups works well. Pour it into the bottle containing the mint, allow it to fully cover the mint. Before resealing, allow the mixture to cool. Allow the vinegar to infuse with the mint for about 1 – 2 weeks. Strain your mint vinegar into a new bottle, add a little lemon juice, shake well and serve with a fresh salad!