Too cool for summer: delicious minty recipes
Is that a plum tarte? Why, yes it is. But what’s that it’s wearing on its head?
About this week’s ingredient:
Mint has a funny history. The name comes from the Greek word minthe; according to Greek mythology, Minthe was a nymph whom Persephone, the wife of Hades, transformed into a mint plant. Sources do no indicate whether Minthe the nymph was originally a pleasant minty flavor.
And here’s something else: mint is not an only child. It belongs to the Mint Family, a group of plants including basil, sage, oregano, rosemary, lavender, and–shockingly–catnip. (An illustrated taxonomy here.)
Mint has a wide variety of uses. Its pleasant aroma makes it the perfect deodorizer–in fact, the Greeks used to sprinkle mint leaves around the room and crush the leaves to release the scent. This is why mint was known as “the herb of hospitality.”
In modern times, mint is used in eco-friendly stomach soothers, nasal decongestants, mosquito repellants, and insecticides. (Read “Death by Mint Oil” here, from the Wall Street Journal, for more info on natural pesticides.) Menthol, a concentrated mint oil, is used in anti-itch medication, cosmetics, sunburn medication, and perfumes. Mint may even have cancer-fighting properties.
This week’s recipes:
Grilled veggie and tofu stack with balsamic and mint from Food.com
Roasted zucchini with ricotta and mint from Food & Wine
Butter bean and mint bruschetta from Charleston Magazie
Mint infused plum tarte tartin from Kitchen Belleicious
Lime-mint dressing from Pinch My Salt
Simple mint pea dip from My New Roots
Candied spiced mint leaves from Him in the Kitchen
Minted watermelon popsicles from Food & Wine
Fresh mint and watermelon soda floats from How Sweet It Is