Nothing says "spring" like the fresh scents and flavors that come from mint, one of our favorite spring herbs. Native to the Mediterranean, mint comes in a variety of species, including not only peppermintand spearmint, but mojito mint (known for being mild, and not overly sweet) and apple mint (known for its sunny, sweet scent and velvety texture).
* For short-term storage, place mint in the fridge in an airtight plastic container, or upright with the stems in a jar of cold water. Change the water regularly. Mint should last 3-4 weeks stored this way.
* For drying, wash in cold water, drain and dry thoroughly. Place in a paper bag and hang upside down by the stems in a dark, dry place until the herb crumbles easily, usually 2-3 weeks. When thoroughly dried, strip the leaves from their stems and store in an airtight container for up to a year.
* For a delicious and cooling tea, steep in boiled water. A good rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1 tablespoon of dried herbs -- or 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs -- to 1 cup of water.
RECIPE of the week:
Summer Salad with Lemon Chive Mint Dressing
* 1 bunch Mixed Greens -- Lettuce or chard work great! For added crunch, flavor and vitamins, toss in the stems!
* 1 cup Snow or Snap Peas -- In the pods, of course!
* 2 -3 Radishes -- sliced
* Feta cheese for garnish (optional)
* 1 T. Chives or Spring Onions -- chopped
* 1 T. Mint Leaves -- chopped
* 1 T. Onion -- finely chopped (optional)
* 1 T. fresh lemon juice
* 1 T. vinegar, apple cider, sherry or rice wine
* 1 T. Maple Syrup or Honey
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* Salt and pepper to taste
Place all vegetables into a mixing/ salad bowl. Blend all dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Done!
-- Dressing adapted from Lemon-Mint Dressing by Kevin Maguire from www.foodandwine.com. Thanks also to Just Food for the mint tips! For more recipes, check out the Corbin Hill blog and Facebook page.