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Too Much Mint

As the result of a serious gardening mistake, which I really should have known better than to have made, I now have an entire raised bed, about 5 ft. by 3 ft., of flourishing mint. I need to get rid of it so that I can grow some actual vegetables, but I don't know how to use it in such quantity. There are only so many juleps a girl can drink, and I can't imagine throwing it away.

BTW, ice cream is out of the question as I have neither an ice cream maker nor room in the freezer to store it.

Thanks for your ideas, chowcooks!

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  1. Two suggestions (but one involves freezer space):
    1) Make "pesto" the same way you would using basil, but substitute the mint. It's a fantastic alternative, lighter and fresher-tasting than traditional basil-based pesto. And it stores in the freezer very well.
    2) Make simple syrup (3 or 2 parts water to 1 part sugar, depending on your taste); once the syrup has boiled for 5 minutes, throw in fists-ful of the mint leaves and steep them, off the heat, for an hour. The resultant syrup stores for weeks in the refrigerator, and can be used for mojitos (with more fresh mint leaves), or as an accompaniment to fresh strawberries.

    2 Replies
    1. re: glasshousejmb

      I am not personally a big fan on the traditional mint jelly that was one de rigeur with lamb, but if anyone ever wanted to make a awesome homeade batch of the stuff, you would be the person to know.

      dry some for mint tea, and drink it iced all summer and warm all winter.

      make a very minty tabouli, heavy on the herbs (mint and parsely) as it should be.

      or seriously, just compost the stuff. it grows so well that i suspect you will never lack for mint again. why burn out on it now, i am sure you will miss some roots and it will grow back in between your veggies.

      good luck!

      1. re: andytee

        Good point. My husband made the same mistake in a bed in our front yard two years ago. He eventually tore up a lot of it. But there are still a few isolated plants there among the flowers he ended up planting....enough for the occasional sprig that I might need for a drink or a recipe....

    2. Lemon mint spa water. Big pitcher of water, slice up a lemon, pinch of mint leaves, chill and enjoy.

      MOJITO!

      Thai basil is very mint like as basil and mint are very closely related.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SeanT

        Do the mint leaves turn brown in the water? Does that affect the flavor?

        1. re: laurendlewis

          No they do not. HOwever if you don't drink it in a reasonable amount of time, say 3-4 days then maybe.

      2. Why not make your friends nice gift baskets containing mint jelly, mint pesto, maybe the simple syrup and a fresh bundle of mint? I know I would love to receive such a treat.

        1. The syrup idea is great. ANd you can make a mint vinegar and vodka was well. Dry it. But you do know that the mint family spreads by root runners and you literally have to cut it out of your garden, yes?

          1. Hmmmm, the perfect reason why one should always grow mint in a pot rather than in the ground. Will it come back after wintered over, you bet! Mine comes back right in the pot every spring and i don't have to worry about it spreading where i don't want it. BTW mint is fabulous in fresh fruit ambrosa, sans the whipped cream, who need it? Just frest fruit of your choice, sliced, frest mint chopped and shredded coconut. Fabulous!

            1 Reply
            1. re: leahvh

              Depends on where you live. My pot-planted mint refuses to return after the winter. I have just gone out and bought new plants to replace them. Will plant one in the big pot again, but have planted the others in corners where they can go crazy without bothering anyone.