My mom always warned me never to plant mint directly in my garden or it would take over. She was a fantastic gardener so I listened to her sage advice about mint and dutifully planted it in pots. However, over time (and admittedly due to some neglect this summer), my mint has jumped the pot and run rampant. And so my small garden is now in a state best described as mondo mint. I could invite every neighbour on my street for mojitos and I would still have great bunches of mint left over.
What, oh what, to do? Well, eat mint for breakfast, lunch and dinner, that’s what!
So this month I have included recipes to help do just that, plus a (non-mojito) libation…
- Nigella’s Corsican Omelette (the recipe is Nigella Lawson’s but, due to copyright, the photo is mine; as you might expect, Nigella’s omelette, just like Nigella, is more attractive)
- Beet, Grapefruit & Mint Salad (just add grilled chicken or your protein of choice and this makes a wonderfully satisfying lunch)
- Cold Noodles with Pork & Cucumber (most Asian-inspired dishes are elevated by the addition of fresh mint and/or basil; both herbs are from the same family, Lamiaceae, also known as Labiatae)
- Blackberry Smash Cocktail (I love blackberries as they are delicious, dramatic and not too sweet; this is a mocktail but I won’t tell if you add vodka or gin to it)
Sign up to my newsletter today to receive the recipes. And then read on for more about my favourite ways to use mint and some of its benefits. I hope you enjoy how mint adds a refreshing flourish to each of these dishes!
Mint has mondo culinary uses
Here are a few wonderful ways to include mint in your daily life if you, like me, are currently in a state of mondo mint…
- Elevate your salads with fresh mint leaves (and/or other herbs of choice).
- Garnish Asian dishes with fresh mint.
- Liven up your libations with mint. Add it to still or sparkling water, fruit juices and/or smoothies for extra zing.
- Make mint pesto. It’s lovely on lamb but also delicious with other grilled meats or vegetables, on sliced tomatoes, sandwiches, pizza or pasta, even dolloped onto soup.
- Top yogurt & berries with a flurry of fresh mint leaves.
- Steep mint leaves in boiling water to make tea. It’s wonderfully refreshing both hot or cold.
More benefits of mondo mint
- The aforementioned mint tea may aid digestion and is great for settling an unsettled tummy.
- Have you see Dan Buettner’s documentary on the Blue Zones (the link is in my last blog post)? In it, he talks about Ikaria, Greece and the health benefits of teas they make from wild herbs. One of them is wild mint and which is meant to prevent ulcers and gingivitis.
- Chewing on some mint leaves can help freshen breath.
- The aroma of mint may help clear stuffy nasal passages.
- A bunch of sprigs makes a lovely bouquet to adorn any table in your home.
- The other day I accidentally picked more mint than I needed and, upon chucking the excess in the organic bin, I discovered that it does a great job masking any less-than-pleasant odours lurking there!
Speaking of mint’s odour-masking properties, I will close with a bit of lore that I came across while writing this post. In Ancient Athens, apparently, it was common to scent different parts of the body with different herbs. And the scent most commonly used on the arms was mint. Which reminded me of the Mint & Wild Geranium Extra Thick Creame (for hands & feet) that I bought from The Medicine Garden on Gabriola Island. Nothing makes my feet feel better after a run and I’ve already gone through one of the two jars I bought in June. It looks like they only ship locally but maybe if we all want some we can convince her to do a special delivery to Ontario. Otherwise, I’ll have to learn to make my own. Fortunately, I have mondo mint!