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Preserving extra mint?

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I always buy a bunch of mint when I just need three sprigs to decorate my dessert. Now I have another bunch sitting inside my fridge.

I want to see if you hounds have some clever way of either preserving the tippy tops for future garnish, or making some sort of mint syrup, or maybe just some chutney? With other herbs I can either dry them or blend with evoo and store in ice cubes trays. But with mint, I'm not sure I can do either.

Suggestions?

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  1. I'm trying to see if mine will take root. My friend told me I can just plant them in dirt, like cilantro, but I've put some in dirt and some in water to see what happens.

    For non-planting suggestions, I say make a simple syrup and put some torn up leaves in to simmer with the syrup. Strain, and you'll have mint syrup. Be sure to put in the fridge.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      How did the cilantro turn out? Did it actually grow? I might try that when I go home with my left over cilantros.

      1. re: Problem Child

        As long as your cilantro is fresh, it will take root if you simply bury it in dirt. I would say buri it several inches deep. Otherwise it won't stand up and might fall over. If your cilantro is starting to wilt at all, this probably won't work. Cut a centemeter off the bottom and stick it in some water if you want to make sure. It should start growing roots after a few days.

    2. Get a herb keeper. This link has a photo and description:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

      I don't recommend getting it from the source above, I found mine for about $8 by checking around. I bought one after reading Cook's Illustrated's test of it in which they said fresh herbs would keep for 2-3 times longer. I was a bit dubious at first but it really works. I have a bunch of cilantro and mint in mine right now, both bought last week and still fresh and usable.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cheryl_h

        This site had it for $9 (+5 shipping)
        http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/items...

        edit to add: Does it work better than just sticking the herbs in water?

        1. re: Produce Addict

          Yes, by far. I buy a lot of cilantro and normally have trouble getting to last more than 2-3 days, in water, or in a damp paper towel with plastic around it, or in a glass jar with plastic bag on top. With the herb keeper, it lasts 7-10 days. I'm too lazy to sort out the stalks and make sure they're all nicely lined up when I put the bunch into the jar, I just jam it in so I lose a few stalks that way. But I'd say loss is very small. I'm very glad I learnt about this simple device and surprised not more people have one.

      2. Make mint oil (evoo or any other oil blended with mint and then strained) to drizzle over meats, pastas, etc.
        Make mint compound butter. I'd use julienned mint and lemon zest, mixed with room temp. butter and frozen into a log. Delightful on a piece of bread, or melting atop a piece of lamb or steak.
        Make mint simple syrup. Make simple syrup and let mashed mint leaved steap until cool. Strain and refridgerate. It's really good in iced tea, or a super simple way to make a mojito.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Aaron

          how long will the mint syrup last?

        2. I freeze mint in ice cubes. Sometimes I like to add those to water or iced tea. They look very pretty.

          1. I usually take the bunch of mints and boil it with green tea, adding sugar to the tea. Re-creating the Morrocan Mint Tea that I had at local restaurants.

            The tea can be drunk hot or cold.

            1. For those growing mint, be very careful if you plan on planting it in your garden/yard. I've never seen something take over a garden quicker than mint. The stuff is unstoppable.

              1 Reply
              1. re: scott123

                Yes, you have to plant mint in large pots or dedicate a large area to it. My friend pulls up mint by the root whenever she needs some, just to keep it under control. Gardeners suggest getting one of those 5 gallon detergent tubs (cleaned, of course) and cutting out the entire bottom. Then, bury that in the ground as a fence for your mint. It will keep the roots from spreading too far.

              2. Hahaha, we have mint growing in a large pot on our balcony, and - I swear - every few days it sends out a runner under the divider to reconnoiter the neighbor's balcony for a possible takeover! :-)

                1. I was just going through a pile of recipes cut out from magazines. There was an idea to serve simply chocolate covered mint leaves as a light and refreshing dessert. What a great idea.

                  1. So I made a big batch of mint syrup. My plan is to freeze them in ice cube trays for future uses. I don't know what else to do with them. I have no immediate parties planned...

                    Or are there great dessert recipes that takes a lot of mint syrup? I'm thinking maybe I can soak a spong cake with it??