Have you taken advantage of our mint planting and maintenance tips and now you have a bountiful harvest? Good work ! However, you are running out of ideas how to use it, apart from homemade lemonade, which is ideal for fighting the heat wave? What to do with fresh mint? Well, this aromatic, refreshing and energizing herb successfully participates in many dishes, cocktails and sauces, among others. Here’s how to get the most out of it!
Cold pasta salad with mentholated chickpeas
Wondering what to put in a cold pasta salad to make it even more filling and delicious? At the same time, you don’t know what to do with an abundance of mint? Do not search anymore ! This recipe is excellent, super easy to make and it will make good use of your extra mint. Moreover, it can be easily eaten as a main dish, because it contains carbohydrates, proteins and good fats. It only takes 30 minutes and the ingredients to prepare 2 servings are:
½ small cauliflower
125 grams Fusilli pasta
7-10 cherry tomatoes
1 handful of pumpkin seeds (¼ cup)
150 grams of chickpeas (canned)
4-5 sprigs of fresh mint
½ bunch of parsley
1 green onion
a drizzle of olive oil
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
a little lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of sugar
Cook noodles al dente according to package directions and rinse with cold water. Put in a colander and drain well. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, blanch* them in lightly salted water for a few minutes and drain them. Rinse, drain and dry the chickpeas. Spread the chickpeas on a baking dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes or until crispy.
Meanwhile, dry-toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet. Cut the cucumbers, tomatoes and green onion into small pieces, then finely chop the parsley and mint. Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together well. Put all the ingredients in a salad bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette and mix. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.
*Note: This recipe is quick and easy, but if you want to simplify it even more, you can roast the cauliflower florets in the oven with the chickpeas and kill two birds with one stone. And what to do with fresh mint when you’re not aiming to include it in a dish? Of course, cocktails!
What to do with mint in summer to cool off?
As already mentioned, homemade lemonade is perfect for combating the summer heat. But what to do with mint if you want to make a somewhat more “adult” drink? Love the classic Cuban mojito, but want a little variety the next time you have friends over? We come to the rescue with the Hugo Italian cocktail which is light and frankly irresistible! To concoct 2 to 4 glasses, prepare:
3-5 ice cubes per glass (for an even more amazing effect, you can also prepare mint ice cubes in advance)
60 ml (4 tablespoons) elderflower syrup
200ml Prosecco or another type of sparkling white wine
150–200ml sparkling water
a good handful of mint leaves
a few slices of lime
Put ice cubes in each glass and pour over the elderflower syrup. Add the Prosecco and sparkling water and top it off with a nice sprig of mint leaves in each glass. Add a slice or two of lime and voila! By the way, if you’re wondering what to do with the abundant mint, a homemade mint syrup that can be used in cocktails with or without alcohol is the ideal solution for you!
Mint and almond pesto
Finally, a revisited pesto is the ideal option for any gardener and cook who does not know what to do with fresh mint when you have too much. The ingredients needed for 6 servings are:
1/4 cup whole raw unsalted almonds with skin
2 cups packed mint leaves, thick stems removed
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, large stems removed
1/3 cup hot water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
a pinch of ground black pepper
Toast the almonds in the oven preheated to 180 degrees C for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Meanwhile, blanch the mint and parsley for 5 to 10 seconds in a pot of boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the herbs to a bowl of ice water and stir for 30 seconds.
Drain, place all ingredients in a food processor and puree to a grainy, creamy or smooth consistency, depending on your personal preference. Season with pepper and salt, transfer to an airtight glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze in ice cube trays for up to 12 months.
What to do with mint? A watermelon and feta salad!
Sources used: klaraslife.com