This aromatic herb has a sweet smell and cool aftertaste. It is a popular garnish for beverages and desserts and is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine.
There are many varieties of mint but the two most common are:
Peppermint - small, dark leaves used for medicine
Spearmint - round, courser leaves, most common for flavouring food
Available all year round in the grocery store, although it's peak season is summer.
Look for firm stems and unwilted leaves with no yellow discolouration.
Refrigerate: Wrap leaves in plastic and place stems in a glass of water in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Change water every other day.
Freeze: Finely chop and freeze in ice cube trays with a little water. Once frozen, store in freezer bags. Simply add mint ice cubes to cooked dishes when needed.
To Dry: Spread leaves in a shaded, well ventilated area for 3 to 5 days, until they are dry and crisp. Or, spread out on paper towels and microwave on high for 2 minutes. If leaves turn black when drying, discard.
Store dried herbs in a cool dark place, in an airtight container.
Wash fresh mint under cold water, shake off excess water and pat dry.
Finely chop leaves with a knife or cut with scissors if a larger chop is needed.
Fresh herbs are tender and are best when added late in the cooking process…10 minutes before complete.