Fresh mint leaves go beyond merely garnishing desserts. This hardy herb can add a refreshing and unique flavor to many of your spring and summer meals, from savory dishes such as tabbouleh to sweet treats and dessert recipes like mint chocolate chip cookies. Here are five creative ways to cook with fresh mint.
Mint chocolate chip cookies recipe
Makes about 3-1/2 dozen
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup mint leaves and stems
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups coarsely chopped dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a mini food processor, combine mint and sugar. Process until mint is finely chopped. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, mint sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate pieces.
- Drop by two to three tablespoon-sized balls onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake for nine to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool on baking sheets for two minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Mint pesto recipe
If your usual basil pesto recipe isn’t exciting your taste buds, give this mint pesto recipe a try. Boasting a vibrant flavor, it is a fun change for pasta and is especially good when paired with lamb.
Yields about 1-1/2 cups
- 4 ounces fresh mint
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine mint, lemon zest and juice, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and 1/4 cup oil. Blend until well-combined.
- Add more olive oil to thin pesto, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Minty tabbouleh recipe
Fresh parsley may be your go-to herb when it comes to adding herbalicious taste to your meals, but fresh mint will give your favorite recipes even more palate-pleasing flavor. Bulgur, which can be found in the bulk section of your local whole foods store, comes alive with fresh mint, citrus and tomatoes.
- 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup diced (seeded) cucumber
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, each tomato halved
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the bulgur in a large bowl and stir in boiling water. Add the lemon zest, juice, olive oil and salt, stirring to combine.
- Cover bowl and set it aside at room temperature for about one hour.
- Stir in green onions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes and black pepper.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to marry.
Mint pineapple salad recipe
Mint and pineapple are a surprisingly delicious combination for a fruity side salad to accompany grilled meats or as a healthy eye-opening breakfast dish to dollop with honey-flavored Greek-style yogurt.
- 1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, tossing to mix well.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Minty cantaloupe sorbet recipe
Fresh mint brightens up this sweet melon sorbet recipe.
- 1-1/2 cups plus 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2-1/2 to 3 cups cubed (seeded) cantaloupe
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine 1-1/2 cups mint, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for two to three minutes or until thickened. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing on mint leaves, into a small bowl. Let cool completely.
- In a blender, combine cantaloupe, one cup of the mint syrup, 1/4 cup mint leaves and orange juice. Puree until smooth.
- Cover blender and refrigerate until cold. Transfer melon mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Transfer sorbet to an airtight container and store in the freezer until ready to serve.