just a quick, happy little post about mint:
mint makes me a very happy girl.
i like to share a cup of mint tea with my best friend amanda (who i miss terribly) on her kitchen counter and scoff baklava.
i like to put fresh mint in the tea-cup whenever i can because it looks beautiful, it tastes so much more lush and the slightly woody sweet aroma is so nice to bury your nose in.
it’s great in cocktails and perfect to add to some lemonade as a ‘nana’s tonic’ for nausea – or just because.
i also like to add it to salads, especially in the summertime for its cooling effects. in fact, i like it all year round.
and the best thing is that it will grow like a weed in your garden – even if you’re not careful. i have to credit one of my other more beautiful friends, kel for teaching me that little factoid.
something extremely simple and relatively quite impressive to do with mint is to use it in the following salad from smitten kitchen. i tried it at a dinner party once and despite the effort i made perfecting two other salads, fresh tuna steaks AND desert for eight of us, tout seul! (all on my own!) i gained the most compliments and “mmm” noises from this here little carrot salad.
give it a whirl (but please don’t leave out the chilli – the minty cool and chilli hot all at once is really delightful):
carrot salad with harissa, feta and mint
(courtesy of smitten kitchen)
3/4 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds or about half as much, ground (i substituted this with coriander seeds which i think worked on the ‘cool’ side, accompanying the mint)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or about half as much, ground
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon harissa (for a solid kick of heat; adjust yours to taste, and to the heat level of your harissa)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped (i like to put more as i am a mint junky)
100 grams feta, crumbled or chopped into bits
in a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. pour over the carrots and mix. add the herbs and mix. leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.
harissa: is a north african chile paste.
nb: can be substituted with sambal olek (almost its indonesian equivalent) or any other savoury chilli paste you can get your hands on.