Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mint: Savory and Sweet

I love fresh mint. It tastes clean. This is a fact, not just a correlation because my toothpaste is mint and I clean my teeth with it. Mint is refreshing, cooling and soothing. It pairs well with so many foods. Forget using it to simply garnish desserts, it is time to start using it. When it is paired with cilantro and/ or mint I think it might be even better than it is solo. Thai noodle salads are exactly where that sort of magic happens. So, so good. I am confident they must have those in heaven. Unfortunately I didn't get a recipe for that ready for today. Instead I have two recipes that are much easier and come together in a few minutes. And if you don't have minutes or fear cutting pineapples or roasting beets, you can buy those already prepared, I've seen them ready to go at Trader Joe's. However, these are so easy you won't need to do, really.  And if you haven't tried beets yet, this is the recipe I win over naysayers with. Try them, try them and you may I say.
Roasted Beets with Mint
Roast the beets following this recipe
Now stir together:
4 T. olive oil
1-2 T. red wine vinegar (go with your taste- I like 2)
sea salt
Add prepared beets. Toss in up to 1/4 cup sliced mint leaves. Sprinkle with goat cheese. (Warning: if you stir your cheese will turn magenta- I forgot and stirred in the picture. Oops.)



Pineapple with Mint Sugar
Happy Days with Jamie Oliver

Buy yourself a ripe pineapple. It should smell slightly sweet and you should be able to remove the leaves quite easily. Cut both ends off and peel the skin with a knife, removing any little black bits. Then cut the pineapple into quarters and remove the slightly less tasty core, which I usually discard or suck on while preparing the rest of the dish. Finely slice your quarters, lengthways, as thin as you can. Lay out flat in one or two layers on a large plate. Don't refrigerate this – just put it to one side.

Take the plate to the table after dinner with a pot of yoghurt that can be passed round, then return with a pestle and mortar with the sugar in it. Your family or guests will probably think you've gone mad, especially if you ignore them while you do this, but pick the mint leaves and add them to the sugar. Bash the hell out of it in the pestle and mortar at the table. You'll see the sugar change colour and it will smell fantastic. It normally takes about a minute to do if you've got a good wrist action. Sprinkle the mint sugar over the plate of pineapple – making sure you don't let anyone nick any pineapple before you sprinkle the sugar over. Fantastic.

I took the pineapple (a double recipe) to a camp out with friends. It disappeared fast. I recommend you try it soon. 

1 comment:

  1. Mint tasting clean is a subjectively assigned attribute, and therefore not a fact.
    However, it is a fact that its name is derived from the Greek myth of the seductive nymph Minthe, who was transfigured into said plant by Persephone, the jealous wife of Hades.



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