This aromatic herb, which includes spearmint, orange mint, peppermint, and more, has so many applications, while simultaneously smelling incredible! It can act as a complement to fatty pieces of meat like lamb, it quenches our nighttime thirst with a calming mug of tea, and it clears our breath and our mind with its cool aftertaste.
Mint is also a rich source of magnesium, potassium, and iron, vitamins essential in powering our brain, relieving indigestion, and even assuaging morning sickness. Enjoy these refreshing applications of this super herb, perfect for summer or all year round.
Mint to Be
Herb of Hospitality
The Greeks originally used mint as a room deodorizer, spreading it over the floor to disguise the bad smells.
Hold the Sneeze
The sharp smell and taste of mint comes from a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent called rosmarinic acid, which provides relief from asthma or allergies.
Traditional medicine used mint to treat muscle aches and stomach pains.
Summer Fruit Medley with Mint Pesto Dressing
Recipe by Chavi Feldman
What a refreshing combination! Mint and basil, who would’ve thought? But they take this fruit medley to the next level. After I tasted it, I got so “pesto happy” that I even tried it over grilled watermelon, with equally delicious results!
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, washed and checked
- ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, washed and checked
- ¼ cup blanched raw slivered almonds
- ¾ tsp orange zest
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp honey
- pinch salt
- 3 peaches, diced into 1-inch (2½-cm) pieces
- 5 ripe apricots, diced into 1-inch (2½-cm) pieces
- 1½ cups blueberries
- 25 strawberries, sliced
- 2 cups 1-inch (2½-cm) pieces diced honeydew
Place all pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until well blended.
In a large bowl, combine all fruit salad ingredients.
Toss fruit with mint pesto and serve immediately.
Note: Be sure to wash and check the fresh produce according to the instructions of your posek.
Recipe by Brynie Greisman
Limonana, a classic favorite in Israel, is a sweet, refreshing slushy drink made with lemon and mint. Here, I’ve taken it to the next level and made it into a sorbet. We couldn’t get enough of it!
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1⅔ cups water, divided
- 1 cup + 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup loosely packed mint leaves, plus more for garnish, washed and checked
- 1 tsp lemon zest, or to taste (do not omit)
- 1 cup ice cubes
- hollowed-out lemon halves, for serving (optional)
In a small pot, heat sugar and 2⁄3 cup water until sugar is dissolved. Stir, if necessary, to help the sugar melt.
Cool. Pour liquid into blender cup or into a food processor fitted with the knife attachment. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until slushy. Pour into a large container and freeze overnight.
Cut frozen mixture into chunks and process in small amounts until the entire mixture is blended again. (This gives it the sorbet texture.) Freeze until serving.
Remove from freezer a few minutes before serving just to soften slightly. Serve small scoops in lemon halves, if desired. Top with a mint leaf.
Note: This can be served in tiny cups as an elegant palate cleanser.
Tip: Lemons that are room temperature or warmed in the microwave yield more juice.
Chuck-Eye Roast with Green Herb Gremolata
Recipe by Chaya Suri Leitner
I love that this meat can be prepared in advance and all you need to do is sear it right before your meal for an elegant presentation.
- 3½-lb (1½-kg) chuck-eye or Delmonico roast
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil, to taste
Green Herb Gremolata
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4–5 mint leaves, chopped
- 4–5 radishes, cut very, very small
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon (or about 3 Tbsp lemon juice)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Season the roast with salt and pepper. Place in a ziplock bag with a little olive oil. Place in a sous vide set at 139°F (54°C) for 12–15 hours.
To make the gremolata, combine all ingredients well.
Once the roast is done, sear on all sides. Slice and serve with the gremolata.
Note: I love to use my sous vide for this cut, since I can set it and forget it and still get that beautiful medium rare. If you don’t own a sous vide, you can place the seasoned roast in a pan with 1⁄2 cup dry white wine, cover very well, and bake at 325°F (160°C) for 3–4 hours. You won’t get the medium-rare effect, but it will still be delicious served with the beautiful radish gremolata.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 853)
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