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help--ideas for mint

my farmers market sells mint in such huge quantities that I keep not being able to use it all. We eat a ton of it in fattoush but I keep coming up thin on ideas to finish it all. Anyone with a breath of fresh air--ways to use up lots of mint without going in for lots of other out of the way ingredients? Maybe a good mint chutney recipe would be good...thanks for your help!

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  1. I like to put a bunch of mint at the top of a pitcher of freshly-made iced tea. It gives it a nice mint flavor - not too overpowering.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JenBoes

      Yes! a favourite cafe of mine does a morrocan mint tea that is similar. A lovely morrocan glass with a decent sized sprig of fresh mint in it accompanied by a small dish of honey to sweeten it with.

      Also you can freeze fresh herbs, the freezing process will darken the leaves but it is still good for say the mint tea - also you can dry the excess mint.

      1. re: irisav

        oh obviously you steep the leaves in hot water!

    2. a search of the boards will turn up even more, but this recent thread should get you started...

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/405004

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        thanks for the idea JenBoes and for the link goodhealthgourmet--looks like there's plenty for me to work with

        1. re: lowandslow

          actually, something really wacky has been going on with my posts lately, and that's not even the link i wanted you to see!

          here are two more recent ones:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/534114
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/488486

      2. Put a quarter cup of mint leaves and a few tablespoons of sugar in a food processor and zap until combined. Mix with cut up fruit and let macerate about 15 minutes. I did this a couple of weeks ago with fresh pitted cherries, pitted and peeled peaches, and seedless green grapes. My BF was eating it for breakfast, snacks, and with ice cream for dessert. And then asked me to make more.

        1. I have been known to use mint- stems and all- as a grill base for a butterflied leg of lamb. I like to think the smoke adds a certain touch- especially since 1) hate to throw away anything 2) I do not really appreciate mint with my lamb in more traditional ways.
          Isn't mint a key element with bulgar wheat preparations- can't recall the name off the top of my head?

          2 Replies
          1. re: stlSarah

            "Isn't mint a key element with bulgar wheat preparations- can't recall the name off the top of my head?"
            ~~~~~
            are you thinking of tabbouleh?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              yes, thank you! I recently started working with a broader variety of grains. Really appreciate that bulger can be used with out heating the kitchen.

          2. mint pesto!
            has so many yummy uses!

            11 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              like what? and do you make it like a traditional basil pesto, including the cheese? i keep wanting to do this, and keep not knowing what to do with it.

              i've been using up the tons of mint my mom keeps giving me by throwing it in the food processor with some watermelon. it's a lovely, refreshing drink and a great way to use up lackluster watermelon.

              1. re: rose water

                hi rose water, my minto pesto go-to recipe works like this:
                I fill up a bowl of ice cold water and let the mint float/soak a few mins to remove any bits. Towel dried I pick the stems clean of all those fragrant leaves. In my large food processor bowl I follow the same directions I use to make traditional Italian basil pesto BUT I substitute olive oil for grapeseed oil and I add lemon peel.

                As for uses: smear a generous amount on lamb, steak, burgers the next time you grill.
                Thin in a bit more oil, lemon juice & rice vinegar for a salad dressing.
                Drizzle in Greek yogurt for a dip
                Spread on a big juicy tomato and broil it til bubbly
                Freeze the pesto in an ice cube tray and use in cold soup recipes
                Add to white sauce the next time you make pasta
                etc! baby it has great flavor and lots of possibilities! Enjoy.

                1. re: HillJ

                  >I follow the same directions I use to make traditional Italian basil pesto >BUT I substitute olive oil for grapeseed oil and I add lemon peel.

                  You use cheese in the mint pesto as in a basil pesto?

                  1. re: DGresh

                    yes, I use cheese in mint pesto. When I omit the cheese, I don't enjoy it as much. I would omit the pinenuts before I would omit the cheese but in either case you can adjust the qty to your personal taste. When I make pesto of any kind the leaf (basil, mint, thyme, cilantro, and combos) is the main event.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      mint pesto in greek yogurt is delicious. there's a persian dish with yogurt, mint, cucumbers and salt that we eat all summer. this version was like a fatty delicious decadent variation.

                      also cooked up tomatoes with some garlic, added the leftover mint pesto, and served over fresh pasta. delicious.

                      thanks so much, HillJ!

                      1. re: rose water

                        rose water, I'm so glad I took time to scroll thru some older posts or I would have missed your recommendations! Do you have a specific recipe or amts. on the persian dish? Sounds wonderful.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          it's called mast o khiar, literally yogurt and cucumber.

                          every family makes it differently--some use large chunks of cucumber, some small, and some grated. the mint to yogurt ratio is variable. added garlic is optional. decorative topping with sumac or dried rose petals optional.

                          my preferred method is small cubes of peeled cucumber, enough yogurt to just cover it all, loads of dried mint, and salt to taste. it goes without saying that using high fat yogurt makes it all the more delicious.

                          1. re: rose water

                            thank you rose water. I happen to have all of these ingred. at home so I know what I'm bringing to the office for lunch tomorrow. and, another interesting use of dried rose petals. wonderful day to you.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              oh, enjoy! one caveat if you're preparing ahead--skip the salt, and add it just before you want to eat/serve. otherwise all the water'll leech out of the cucumbers and it'll all be soggier/less crisp.

                              wonderful day to you too! thanks.

                              1. re: rose water

                                Another variation for mast o khiar uses the cucumbers, mint, garlic, and herbs as mentioned, but you can also add chopped walnuts and golden raisins too -- delicious !!

                2. I've been making summer rolls.

                  Some shrimp, mint, matchstick carrots, avocado... rolled in a softened rice wrapper.

                  Soy ginger vinegar dipping sauce.

                  Very yum.

                  1. Are you referring to peppermint or spearmint? My spearmint is growing wild and I'm curious as to how to use it.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: TampaAurora

                      I'm not sure actually--I guess I'm not 100% sure of the difference. Do you know?
                      Thanks everyone for the ideas--sometimes when I get too much of something my mind just goes blank.
                      Summer rolls sound amazing right now.
                      Do you just use mint pesto on the same sorts of things you use basil pesto on? Is it something people make in Italy or more an innovation along the lines of black bean hummus?

                      1. re: lowandslow

                        I've read that most of the mint we buy in the supermarket is spearmint. Peppermint is very strong flavored and not common.

                        1. re: Jennalynn

                          I wonder if there is another possibility - I hate anything that is marked "spearmint" flavor, but love mint.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            It's called spearmint, but it doesn't taste the same as it does in spearmint gum.

                            Pull off a leaf and taste it.

                    2. ginger mint rum!

                      make ginger and mint syrup on the stove top with a bit of sugar and water... sieve out and mix it up with some rum or keep it separate to mix with your liquor of choice. goes in fridge, keeps forever.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pinstripeprincess

                        I make a simple syrup (sugar/water) and add the mint. Use for mint iced tea, but preferred for MOJITOS!!! I added some of our raspberries in June & it was delish.

                      2. My excesses of mint go to make minted cucumber-vodka lemonade. I'm the type of lush who likes lush greens in his drinks.

                        1. --Mixed into yogurt w/salt & lemon as a nice sauce for grilled meats
                          --Use it to flavor a simple syrup; the syrup will keep in the fridge for weeks and can be used to sweeten iced or hot tea
                          --Slice leaves into a chiffonade and use in a vinagrette
                          --Combine with ground lamb and onions for lamb patties/burgers
                          --Infuse heavy cream with a bunch of it and make mint ice cream
                          Incidentally, mint is very easy to grow. It is tolerant of full sun to partial shade, spreads like mad, and will resprout each year once it is established. You can put a sprig of it in water until it forms roots, then plant it in a pot or in the ground.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                            Now I've used up my mint and need more. These are good suggestions people...

                          2. my neighbor makes homemade mint ice cream- he hasn't shared the recipe (I'm working on it) but the flavor is so unique. It isn't anything like the mint chocolate chip mint flavor- very clean and refreshing. I bet there are several recipes available...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: lhb78

                              I have converted some of my ice cream recipes to include mint (I grow chocolate mint). I heat whatever milk/cream is required in the recipe and steep the mint (stems and leaves) in it with the pot lid on. Then drain and squeeze the mint to get all the liquid out. After that, proceed as per the recipe. We made some lovely mint, chocolate chunk from a vanilla recipe (skipped the vanilla bean and just put in a splash of liquid vanilla). It's not that vile, neon green of the commerical stuff. And has a much better flavour. And also made a dark chocolate mint ice cream using a plain chocolate recipe.

                            2. I love a sandwich with lots of mint leaves, sliced radish, feta, scallions inside a pita. I lived on it in grad school.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DGresh

                                that sounds sublime! My husband is anxious for a new vegetarian sandwich to take to work and I think you've just provided it!

                              2. Mojitos!
                                I grow mint in my garden, and I recently used it in my Quinona, I also added dried cherries and roasted almonds.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                                  I've done the quinoa thing - it's very good.

                                  I also add chick peas and feta...great lunch to bring to work

                                2. Blanch or steam green beans, put them into a bowl. Finely chop mint and garlic (use more than you would think), gently stir into the beans. Drizzle a good olive oil over, toss. Good warm or at room temperature. Works well for pot lucks and picnics.

                                  Sounds odd, but tastes great!

                                  1. I like mint in Greek Salad (tomatoes, cucombers, onions, feta cheese, olives, lemon juice and olive oil dressing). Also good is watermelon balls, mint, lime juice, and just a bit of tequila and salt.

                                    1. lowandslow, you mentioned mint chutney. Do you have a recipe for that handy?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        Hi HillJ, I was just reading through this post again since I now have even more mint and saw you'd asked this...I hadn't seen it before, sorry. Actually I don't have a mint chutney recipe, when I put that in the original post I was more saying one would come in handy at times like these (times with lots of mint that is) If you happen to find a good one, do share it.

                                        1. re: lowandslow

                                          lowand slow, I haven't found a mint chutney recipe yet that appeals to me...but I'm searching.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            well, whoever finds a good one first can post it, deal?

                                            1. re: lowandslow

                                              absolutely! I'm trying to find a mint chutney recipe that doesn't include cilantro or a large amt of onion but still remains a mint-driven (couldn't think of a better description) chutney consistency.

                                      2. I just made a simple syrup today for my mojitos, etc...
                                        2c sugar
                                        2c water and a huge bunh of mint
                                        heat till sugar disolves, let meld for hour tops, strain and rerigerate, it was so tasty just off a spoon!

                                        1. There is a really great recipe on foodnetwork.com for fresh honeydew minted limeade. I've made it several times and it's always a hit.
                                          Also, I like to put it in couscous: saute chopped onion or shallots, substitute OJ for the water, and throw in chopped mint, chopped dried apricots, and toasted pistachios after it's cooked. Serve at any temp

                                          1. I like mint tea. Just mint and water. Hot or cold.

                                            Dry any extra mint for tea later.

                                            1. Mojitos and mint juleps. (I hope you weren't asking about food uses).

                                              1. Make a mint simple syrup as described below. Use equal parts of syrup and fresh lemon or lime juice in an ice filled glass, then add some seltzer or bubbly H20 of your choosing to fill the glass to the top. Stir well and enjoy! (even better w/ vodka or rum....)

                                                1. Here's a simple Syrian squash recipe with mint- the amounts aren't really important. You just want enough rice to fill the scooped squash.

                                                  Ingredients
                                                  Zucchini
                                                  White Rice
                                                  Mint
                                                  Garlic
                                                  Olive oil
                                                  1 can chickpeas

                                                  Saute a few cloves of chopped garlic. In the same pot, cook up a white rice. If you use a rice cooker, just put the garlic into the rice cooker. Make sure to undercook the rice- you want it edible but with a very obvious crunch to it. Stir in tons of chopped mint to the warm rice.

                                                  Let the rice mixture cool until its cool enough to handle- don't refrigerate. Using your hands or a spoon, stuff each hollowed out squash with the rice mixture. They can be frozen at this point or cooked right away.

                                                  To cook: place in rows in a pyrex or ceramic casserole. Spread chickpeas and leftover rice (if you have any around the stuffed squash. It's better to place spoonfuls of the rice, rather than spread it in a thin layer. Add about a half inch to an inch of water and cook covered at 400 degees for about 45 minutes until squash is soft and rice has expanded.

                                                  It's really good with a mint/yogurt sauce served on the side.
                                                  The basic recipe is Greek or plain yogurt mixed with chopped cucumbers and mint.

                                                  Sorry I can't give you exact measurements or cooking times.. it's something I make so often I just don't measure.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                                    Hi Cheesecake, don't know if you are still on the boards but just wanted to say thanks for the recipie, I finally tried it!! It was delicious! I had some cherry tomatoes on the counter so I added those with the chickpeas as well as a little evoo. When it was almost done cooking I put a little feta on top of the zucchini and broiled it for a few minutes. The feta softened nicely and the tomatoes blistered up nicely This will be a summer staple, and I already frooze 1/2 dozen stuffed to give it a try in the winter. Thanks again!