I grow a ton of mint, and it kind of happened by accident. I made the mistake of planting spearmint and peppermint directly into the ground many years ago instead of confining it to a pot. Needless to say, I have quite a mint garden. Some of it is two feet tall or higher! For the longest time I wondered what to do with it all.
Thanks to my neighbor and her grilled zucchini, I discovered that mint is quite versatile and can be used in many dishes. Grill slices of zucchini, season with a good quality extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Sprinkle with finely chopped mint and serve. This is absolutely delicious! You can also use fresh mint in pasta dishes and in summer salads with watermelon and feta. I thought using mint in a dish would be overpowering, but it’s actually subtle and fresh tasting. So swap out the basil, parsley and thyme in some recipes, and experiment by adding some finely chopped mint instead.
Mint is superb in summer cocktails too. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer night than a mojito. In fact, July 11 was National Mojito Day! It’s not too late to celebrate this fun holiday (and to use up some of that mint you’re growing) here is my go-to recipe for a wonderful summer mojito.
This is a Bacardi recipe I found on the Food Network website, and it really is delicious! This is for one glass, but feel free to double or triple the recipe.
12 fresh spearmint leaves
2 tablespoons simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves, cooled) or 4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 ounces light rum (Bacardi recommended)
Lime wedge and mint sprig, for garnish
In a tall glass, muddle or mash together the mint leaves and lime. Add the simple syrup or sugar and fill the glass with ice. Add the rum and top with club soda, stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Enjoy!