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The Perfect Summer Herb: Mint (Recipes Included)

The Perfect Summer Herb: Mint (Recipes Included)

Fresh mint is the perfect ingredient for a refreshing summer meal. Whether it’s served in a fruit salad, spring roll, fruit punch, or paired with a vegetable, this versatile herb is a great complement to a warm, sunny day.

Mint has been used for centuries for its healing powers, taste and aromatic qualities. For health purposes, mint is most often used to help settle stomachs, nausea, cramps and headaches.

The herb even has its place in ancient Greek mythology. According to legend, the green, fragrant herb used to be a beautiful nymph named Menthe. She was turned into a plant by jealous Persephone who didn’t appreciate her husband Pluto’s affection towards Menthe. Pluto could not turn the plant back into a nymph, but he could give it an appealing aroma.

The history, smell, taste–everything about mint makes me happy. So naturally I was delighted when I stumbled across this simple, mint and eggplant recipe from the cooking blog White on Rice Couple. It’s a new way for me to enjoy this herb, and all the ingredients can be grown locally and bought from my farmers’ market! Here is that recipe along with some others to enjoy on a sunny day–or whenever:

Note: To be ultra local, you could grow the herb yourself. Mint can easily be grown indoors and doubly serves as a natural–and edible–home fragrance.

Spring Roll (Salad) with Tofu
(adapted from Eat. Drink. Better.)

A great way to enjoy this herb fresh, without any cooking, is in spring rolls. Toss together the following ingredients and put in a rice paper roll–or skip the rice paper roll and eat a healthy salad version. You can vary the portions depending on your tastes.

Green cabbage
Romaine lettuce
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh basil leaves
Carrot
Green onion
Peanuts
Sesame seeds
Mung bean sprouts
Vermicelli noodles (cooked according to package)
Extra firm tofu (sautéed in soy sauce, ginger, a tsp. of canola oil, and a drop of sesame oil)

Serve with your favorite Asian dressing or a homemade peanut dressing.

Roasted Eggplant with Mint
Eggplant, smaller varieties sliced in half, larger sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
Fresh Mint
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F. Lay the eggplant on a sheet pan with the mint, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you are using small halved eggplants, lay them so that they are skin side down.
2. Roast until eggplants are a light golden brown and soft (can be anywhere from 30 min – 1 hr depending on your eggplants and their thickness.) You do not need to flip them during roasting.
3. Double check finished eggplants for seasoning and serve with the crispy mint leaves.

I cut up the roasted mint and eggplant and used it in a salad with some fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and a little more fresh mint. This recipe is also really good plain!

Raspberry Mint Punch
(adapted from PlanTea)
3 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup water
1 1/2 quarts lemonade
Fresh mint for garnish

Bring water to a boil, add mint leaves and steep for five minutes. Strain and cool. Stir in berries and add mixture to the lemonade. Chill for at least two hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve in tall glasses with ice, garnished with a mint leaf. Serves 6-7.

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Megan Zehnder

Megan is an editor and producer for Care2's Healthy Living. Her main priorities are to live simply and build meaningful relationships with the people in her life. She loves to write and talk about environmental issues, healthy living, and women's rights. Beyond that, her interests change daily, but eating and cooking vegetarian food is always a favorite.

6 comments

+ add your own
8:56PM PDT on Apr 7, 2013

Mint is lively and refreshing. Certainly a splendid green ingredient for many recipes.

5:03PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

fresh and simple. And yummy.
Loved the salad, planning on eggplant this week. Thanks for the posting.

9:28AM PDT on Jun 25, 2010

Great!

2:18AM PST on Feb 11, 2010

This whole spring and summer, I’ve been living on a variant: garden-fresh salad greens and herbs (and asparagus spears, earlier on, lightly steamed) stuffed in a warm whole-wheat wrap with a little melted cheese or some hummus or avocado…but heavy on the salad and herbs. I’ve really enjoyed making up new combos (current fave=salad/herbs, feta, hummus, avocado, maybe some bits of kalamata olive).

r4 revolution

5:28AM PDT on Aug 22, 2009

Delicious - thanks!

1:11AM PDT on Aug 22, 2009

Yum! Exquisite! And vegan! Love it. :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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