I love a mojito, which is made with white rum and fresh mint. So when I spotted an abundance of mint plants in my late neighbor's yard last summer, I decided to help myself to one or two.
I quickly discovered that you can't dig up one or two mint plants from a bed of many. The roots were so long, and so intertwined, that I wound up with five. Wisely, I put them in large pots. I later read that they will take over a garden.
The mint plants flourished. I thought I had lost them in August, though, when I returned from 12 days in Peru. My tenant had overwatered them, and they looked pitiful. But they soon bounced back. I thought I'd lost them when the temperatures dropped below 32 degrees this month. But they're hardy little devils, especially when they're among friends. The pot with only one plant froze to death, but the one with three made it just fine. I then brought it inside, and it's still producing.
So, the question is, what do I do with all this mint? There are only so many mojitos a woman my size can drink. That goes double for mint juleps, which are way too strong for my tastes anyway.
A gardening friend freezes fresh herbs in ice cubes, and uses them in soups and stews during the winter. Hmmm. Would that work for mojitos? I froze a couple of ice trays as an experiment. But I can only store so many ice cubes.
I found a recipe for Green Beans, Snap Peas and Edamame Toss (sic) with Cilantro-Mint Pesto in Publix's Family Style magazine. You steam the veggies, then toss with the pesto. It’s a yummy dish. So I'm making it again for Thanksgiving. I've already made the second batch of pesto. Then I experimented with a batch of mint walnut pesto. I think it will be good on pasta.
And still I have mint.
So I posed my mint dilemma to another friend, who apparently spread the word among her friends, and she sent me three lists of recipes. Most were a bust, because they either used too little mint or were too complicated, but I saved a couple. One was Tomato, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mint. That reminded me of a dish I had in Istanbul last month, which a Turk told me was very Turkish. However, my Persian friend makes it, too, and she’s from Iran. It combined chopped cucumber and mint with slightly thinned plain yogurt. It was quite tasty. Another was Grilled Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard Mint Dipping Sauce, which comes from Bobby Fray on the Food Network. It appears to be a tad time-consuming, because you cook the potatoes in boiling water, let them cool, cut them into wedges, then grill them. But I love sweet potatoes, so I saved that recipe, too.
My friend suggested adding finely minced mint to my next batch of chocolate frosting and/or a batch of brownies. Hmmm. Mint and chocolate. That's a winning combination.
So, do any of my readers have other suggestions for using mint?
While you're looking through your recipe files, I'm going to enjoy another pineapple mojito.