Thursday, 27 February 2014
Of all the herbs, I think mint is the most versatile. Savoury or sweet, mint is always there to brighten up our food. Yes, we've used some of the other herbs in sweet recipes (strawberries with rosemary or blueberries with thyme, anyone?) but really, mint is our herb of choice in desserts, cakes, salads and main courses alike. We're almost bursting with suggestions of how you can use mint in your cooking today.
Let's start with some classic mint recipes, like our old favourite, mint sauce. It's just not roast lamb without mint. Oh, and tzatsiki! We love tzatsiki more than is probably healthy. You'll find mint in our salsa verde, too, it's great with fish or new potatoes.
Let's not forget the quintessential combination of mint and chocolate. It's a marriage of flavours that we've loved since our very first after dinner mint. Actually, pop your After Eights (other after dinner mints are available) into a brownie mixture and we're basically yours for life. Prefer a mint Aero? We've got cake for you, too. If that's not enough to satisfy your mint-choc cravings, you'll need some minty millionaire's shortbread and chocolate and mint fudge.
Before you say it's too cold for salad, try our brilliant haggis winter salad. The citrus and mint in the dressing in the perfect accompaniment to all manner of salads, from warm grilled vegetable to chickpea and feta.
We're partial to Moroccan food, and Morocco are partial to a bit of mint in their recipes. Use chopped fresh mint to flavour these Moroccan parcels and our gorgeous Moroccan lamb rice for a taste of somewhere a whole lot warmer than Blighty. Not Moroccan, but still deliciously warming, our lamb chorizo pie uses mint jelly to brighten up a rich and filling dish.
Have you tried Thai basil? It's not easy to get hold of so we often use a combination of fresh mint and coriander to approximate the flavour in our Thai inspired recipes. If you're in a hurry this evening, try these Thai noodles, they're ready to eat in just a few minutes. Thai noodle soup is our cure for everything from hangovers to the common cold, we've even got a gluten free version for you.
Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that our love of all things mint stems from our obsession with the Mojito. This cocktail is the inspiration for some of our favourite recipes (we like to add rum to our food). This Mojito cake is a real crowd-pleaser, and one of our most popular cake recipes. For a bite-sized taste of Cuba, try some Mojito marshmallows or chocolate truffles.
Mojitos aren't the only mint cocktail we love. The Ivy Gimlet Royal is a gin based cocktail with some of the Mojito's great flavours. The Gentleman's Julep is a refreshing alternative to the old fashioned Mint Julep, while the Caged Mint and Peach Julep is an invigorated version of the original. Whether you prefer gin or vodka, you'll be extra excited when you infuse it with mint to create the brilliant Brighton Rock.
What's your favourite use for mint?
Need more inspiration? Check out more of our top ten recipe posts.