Too cool for summer: delicious minty recipes

Is that a plum tarte?  Why, yes it is.  But what’s that it’s wearing on its head?

About this week’s ingredient:

Mint has a funny history.  The name comes from the Greek word minthe; according to Greek mythology, Minthe was a nymph whom Persephone, the wife of Hades, transformed into a mint plant.  Sources do no indicate whether Minthe the nymph was originally a pleasant minty flavor.

And here’s something else: mint is not an only child.  It belongs to the Mint Family, a group of plants including basil, sage, oregano, rosemary, lavender, and–shockingly–catnip.  (An illustrated taxonomy here.)

Mint has a wide variety of uses.  Its pleasant aroma makes it the perfect deodorizer–in fact, the Greeks used to sprinkle mint leaves around the room and crush the leaves to release the scent.  This is why mint was known as “the herb of hospitality.”  

In modern times, mint is used in eco-friendly stomach soothers, nasal decongestants, mosquito repellants, and insecticides.  (Read “Death by Mint Oil” here, from the Wall Street Journal, for more info on natural pesticides.)  Menthol, a concentrated mint oil, is used in anti-itch medication, cosmetics, sunburn medication, and perfumes.  Mint may even have cancer-fighting properties.

This week’s recipes:

Warm

Grilled veggie and tofu stack with balsamic and mint from Food.com

Roasted zucchini with ricotta and mint from Food & Wine

Butter bean and mint bruschetta from Charleston Magazie

Mint infused plum tarte tartin from Kitchen Belleicious

Cool

Lime-mint dressing from Pinch My Salt

Simple mint pea dip from My New Roots

Candied spiced mint leaves from Him in the Kitchen

Minted watermelon popsicles from Food & Wine

Fresh mint and watermelon soda floats from How Sweet It Is

Easy peasy mint dip from My New Roots

Sweet, cool, fizzy, minty watermelon float from How Sweet It Is

Candied spiced mint leaves from Him in the Kitchen. Shhh. Let the mint leaves speak for themselves.

  • http://www.kitchenbelleicious.com kitchenbelleicious

    Just wanted to thank you for linking up my mint plum tarte tartin. This is an amazing blog and I am so glad to be introduced to it. The other recipes are amazing as well.

    • http://parisleaf.wordpress.com parisleaf.com

      Hey there, it’s our pleasure to link up to quality cooking. Please feel free to contact us with seasonal recipes or eco-friendly tips–and, of course, feel free to link up to us! :)