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Thursday, 13 April 2006

mint pesto (WHB#28: mint)

Filed under: crossblogging,food & drink,main course,WHB — ejm @ 14:54 EDT

not exactly the
Weekend Herb Blogging #28: Mint (Mentha ??)

click on image to see more photos of mint
At last spring is springing!

Crocusses are crocussing and forsythia blossoms in the back garden are just about to burst forth(ythia… heeheeheehee).

And because it has been so lovely, the other day we suddenly neeeeeeeeeded to have grilled chicken on spaghettini with mint pesto. Of course, there is no sign of our garden mint yet so we had to buy some.

We rode our bikes to Chinatown to see what we could find. Mint was there alright and it was on the pricey side – $2.00 for two measly little bunches. But it was beautifully fragrant and lush looking. I don’t know what kind of mint it is – it smells a like spearmint but doesn’t look like the spearmint we will have growing in our garden soon. (Remind me to post a photo of our mint.)

click on image to see more photos of making mint pesto
mint pesto I usually put in a lemon verbena as well but good luck buying lemon verbena at the vegetable store!! (I didn’t even try.) I went into the basement and stole as much as I dared of our overwintering lemon verbena plant – two little sprigs. And then silly me, I thought I’d just use a little extra lemon to make up for the lack. I used the juice of one and a half lemons.

Duh… I SHOULD have just added a little extra lemon zest. After making the pesto, it was very acidic. You know that eyepopping feel when eating lemon? It took away all the mint flavour.

But I rescued it… I drained off as much as I could of the lemon juice that was sitting in the bottom of the dish. And I added ¼ tsp of sugar. And hey presto! The mint flavour burst out and the lemon receded tremendously.

T decided to caramelize some garlic in olive oil and toss the spaghettini in it before tossing with the pesto. And that really did the trick. Once again, our dinner was brilliant.

Oh by the way, this mint pesto does NOT have any cheese (even though someone insisted on grating some parmesan and sprinkling it on top of his and claimed that it was good). Personally, I think that cheese in this pesto is rather like gilding the lily.

mint pesto
recipes from OUR kitchen – mint pesto

click on image to see more photos of making mint pesto


not exactly the
Weekend Herb Blogging #28: Mint (Mentha)

weekend herb blogging - © kalyns kitchen Mint is really easy to grow. Some people complain that it takes over their garden. I don’t know how that can be. We NEVER have enough mint! The leaves (and flowers) are so good in iced tea, with steamed peas, as a garnish for Asian food and of course, in mint pesto….

Read here about growing mint

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Weekend Herb Blogging #28 – roundup 

  • Paz

    Mmmm… The mint pesto looks good. I love mint. I would like to try your recipe sometime. I’ve never made it before.

    I love the photos!


  • ejm

    That’s most kind of you to say. Thank you, Paz. I’m rather pleased with the photos too.

    And do try mint pesto. It’s really fantastic (And don’t get sucked in to adding cheese. Cheese is NOT necessary). It’s delicous with seafood instead of chicken too. Or even on its own. Do let me know how it turns out when you make it.

  • MM

    I was soooo craving mint today too but the weather has been so bad that I think all the vegetable stalls ran out of mint! Love the idea of mint pesto – might try it one day although I typically end up using the mint in one of my salads. I might wake up early tomorrow to see if I can get some mint for my pomelo and green mango salad.

    Or I might save it for mint pesto … decisions, decisions …

  • ejm

    Pomelo and green mango salad does sound delicious, MM. I’m afraid I had to look up “pomelo”… I’ve probably seen them at the Asian market but never bought one because I didn’t know what it was. I love grapefruit – I should see if pomelos really are available here.

    But you neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to make mint pesto! Or how about some green mango & mint chutney.

    See?? How can people ever complain about having too much mint taking over their gardens?! I wish that I had that problem!

  • bing

    The first time we bought a pomelo, we thought it was brilliant. The flesh was very firm and juicy, and tasted lovely – grapefruit-ish, but milder. The next two times we tried, the pomelo was dry and tasteless. The most recent time, it was not dry, but it tasted sort of musty.

    To get at the fruit, you have to cut off the inch-thick rind, and then you have to cut the flesh out of the segments. The rind and segment separators are inedible, even in a good one.

    If we hadn’t been lucky the first time, we wouldn’t keep trying. Unfortunately, they cost quite a bit, so we don’t try very often.

    We see them occasionally in ordinary grocery stores in Toronto, but they seem to be always available in large Asian stores. Our first good one was from T&T at Steeles and Warden; our last bad one was also from there, though.

  • Karina

    Yum – I love fresh mint – and mint pesto. So evocative of spring!

  • sher

    Ahhh–wonderful idea. I even have a big bundle of mint that will go to waste if I don’t use it. Thanks!

  • ejm

    Fresh mint really is wonderful isn’t it, Karina? And I love the aroma when the leaves are crushed. The whole house gets filled with mint.

    Lucky you, Sher! Let me know how it goes!


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