Recipes Worth a Mint

| August/September 1997

  • The light flavors of fruit mint touch this Grilled Salmon Fillet with Pineapple Mint Mango Salsa, accompanied by Roasted Balsamic Onion Rings with Apple Mint.
    Photograph by Joe Coca
  • Lemon Raspberry Bars with Lemon Mint are easy and deliciously lemony.
    Photograph by Joe Coca

Mint Recipes: 

Grilled Salmon Fillets with Pineapple Mint Mango Salsa 
Mediterranean Tapénade with Orange Mint  
Roasted Balsamic Onion Rings with Apple Mint 
Lemon Raspberry Bars with Lemon Mint
Ginger Mint Ginger Ale 

The role of mints has changed over the centuries. We no longer use them to pay taxes or strew their stalks on the floor to mask bad odors. Today, mints belong in the kitchen—and not just for garnishing. Their uses go far beyond the traditional pairing with lamb and flavoring for jellies, teas, and juleps.

The ancient custom of concluding feasts by chewing a sprig of mint to settle the stomach and cleanse the breath persists today in the form of breath mints, but there’s no reason why a hostess can’t offer bright green sprigs of fragrant, fresh mint to nibble on after a meal. They are available, attractive, and inexpensive, especially if you keep a mint plant in your kitchen or on the patio.

With these recipes, I’ve been experimenting with some of the fruit-flavored mints, and I’m finding them almost as useful as the spearmint I’m more accustomed to using. Try substituting fruit mints in recipes that call for mint, such as lemonades and juleps, summer fruit salads, mint sauces to top fruit or ice cream, and vegetable dishes such as peas, carrots, and potatoes that need a flavor boost. Fill a vase with fresh fruit mint sprigs to permeate your kitchen with a clean, pleasant fragrance.

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