Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Inspiring Ingredient: Mint

InspiringIngredient_Mint_2013.08

Introducing August’s Inspiring Ingredient…mint!

Mint – both the fresh and dried varieties – is one of the most popular herbs used in Mediterranean cooking. According to Ana Sortun’s “Spice,” Greek myth tells an origin story for this refreshing plant: One day, Pluto’s wife was jealous of a beautiful nymph and decided to take out her envy by turning her into a plant. Pluto tried unsuccessfully to remove his wife’s spell, so he gave the nymph-plant a beautiful fragrance instead. She became mint – a minor consolation to the nymph, but a culinary breakthrough for humankind!

There are many types of mint, but spearmint is most often used because its more subtle flavor doesn’t overwhelm other ingredients. Fresh mint brightens up salads, side dishes, and meats, but it’s also found in many desserts and teas. Dried mint has a more earthy flavor and is often used in rice and hot vegetable dishes, as well as with meatier entrees. We tend to use fresh mint more often at M & D, but we’re looking forward to a little more dried mint experimentation.

Buying and Storing

Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow, so easy in fact that in some countries it’s considered a weed! All you need is a little soil, water, sun, and a mint plant. With just a little attention, the plant will take over. If you’re buying mint at the store, it actually lasts quite a while as compared to other herbs like basil and cilantro. You can either keep it in a bag in the bottom drawer of your fridge, or place the stems in a cup of water, similar to how you would put cut flowers in a vase. Mint usually lasts around a week before starting to rot.

From the M & D Blog Reel:

We’ve got mint recipes all over M & D, but here are a few of our favorites for you to try:

Saffron Chicken & Herb Salad

Perfected Fattoush Salad

Roasted Salmon with a Pistachio Herb Cruda

Moroccan Chickpea-Carrot Salad with Mint & Dried Plums

Asparagus Mint Slaw

Limonana Popsicles

And many more!

In the M & D Test Kitchen Queue:

We’re always looking to try new recipes using our favorite ingredients. Here are a few featuring mint that we’re looking forward to trying out. (Let us know if you try them!)

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese, Harissa, Lime and Mint

Asparagus with Mint Gremolata and Burrata

Pea, Mint, and Feta Fritters

Dutch Baby with Chocolate, Raspberries, and Mint

Strawberry Currant & Mint Tart with Mascarpone & Lemon

Chocolate-dipped Mint Leaves

What are your favorite mint dishes? Let us know by commenting below or posting on the M & D Facebook page.

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2 comments on “Inspiring Ingredient: Mint

  1. Pingback: Mezze: Fava Bean Salad for Jaime’s Birthday! | Mezze & Dolce

  2. Pingback: Mezze: Sunchokes with Pistachio-Mint Gremolata | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on August 6, 2013 by in Ingredient, M & D Inspiration and tagged .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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