Cooking with Mint

csa mint by esther giangrande

csa mint by esther giangrande

By now you have most likely rocked some delish hot tea with your mint. (nothing is much easier than adding hot water, eh?; and not much is more comforting than fresh mint tea after getting drenched in a downpour…). While mint is a lively/natural addition to teas (and chocolate), it also goes really well in more savory dishes like chilled rice, tabbouleh, and couscous salads. In fact, in  Greek and Lebanese cuisines, mint has been traditionally used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Storing mint is rather easy, although it wilt quickly if not done “right”.  A bunch of mint can be stored in the fridge for about a week. Best results come from keeping it stems down in a glass of water with a plastic bag covering the leaves, changing the water every couple of days.

In celebration of mint, which we should be getting on a regular basis as part of our share, here are some other ways to get your mint on; Let us know your favorite uses/recipes for mint.

SAVORY MINT DISHES

So, with a lot of the savory dishes, meat becomes a main part of the recipe. To that effect, we will be posting lots of meat stuff (no offense veg heads) but i recommend trying them meatless. Lots of the recipes are great fodder vegan/vegetarian adaptations. (and please send us pics and hints for any adaptations you might try)

SWEET MINT TREATS

Here are some different takes on the sweet side of mint.

  • Mint Julep Rice Pudding from the Candy Dish blog
  • Blueberry Mint Cupcakes by Coconut & Lime (another of my go-to blogs for amazing foodie fun). The mint is steeped in the milk in the cupcakes….i heart steeping herbs in milk for flavor fun. (try basil infused whipped cream or marscapone on top of berry pie. super yums)
  • Mint Gelato by Coconut & Lime. (seriously, if you love cooking, cruise this blog for great ideas and flavor combos) Great way to use mint and those pastured eggs.
  • Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Scroll down) This recipe uses fresh mint and an extract. You could probably make your own extract too if you’ve got a mint plant in your garden and are harvesting tons

COCKTAILS & OTHER MINT DRINKS

And if you are feeling CRAFTY, check out this blog for a how-to for a Mint Lemonade Sugar Scrub

Experimenting with Epazote

Epazote

For most people at distribution, it was their first time handling epazote, let alone thinking about cooking with it. This herb, which is almost as important as cilantro in Mexican cooking, is virtually unknown in most markets in the US, even though it is a common seasonal roadside weed in many parts of the country. (Sometimes North of the border we call it wormseed or pigweed).

Epazote Quesadilla @ Bridget

Epazote Quesadilla @ Bridget

Gabby, the chef at Bridgit, showed us some super yummy ways to cook up epazote. Bridgit buys a share for the restaurant in order to order local tasting plates. good stuff!

As far as its culinary uses, typically it is used with black beans and other soupy dishes, it is also extensively used to flavor fish and corn. (Probably nice with tofu too!) I have seen it as part of a quesadilla, sopes, moles, tamales, chilaquiles, enchiladas, potatoes, and eggs. Our household made a nice chicken mole and a big old pot of black beans and some breakfast eggs with our epazote. (Sorry, no pics. Too busy eating!)

nanitHope you have had as much fun experimenting with your epazote too.  Here’s some more fodder for your culinary imagination:

And don’t forget dessert! Talk about experimentation…

White Grapefruit & Epazote Sorbet

MtnGrl20@flickr.com

MtnGrl20@flickr.com

XoseCastro@flickr.com

XoseCastro@flickr.com

kare_raisu@flickr.com

kare_raisu@flickr.com