Making A Mint

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I was recently browsing an internet forum about growing veg.  i stumbled across a post where a seasoned gardener was telling a novice that she shouldn't grow mint because it was an "invasive little devil of a plant that has no purpose other than mint sauce".  Uhh, excuse me?  Yes, mint does need to be watched for hostile proliferation, but no uses?  How could such lies be spread about my most beloved of herbs? Of course I couldn't help but jump in the debate.  A rather indignant exchange followed...details of which I will spare you.  End of the story: sadly, new gardener is not going to plant mint. 

Battle lost.  Let's see if I can win the war...

The 3 best uses for mint that AREN't mint jelly:

Lemon and Mint Potato Salad

lemon mint potato salad

from a friend of mine T in London who is famous for her cooking and hospitality...unparrelelled within the M25.

4-5 Medium Potatoes
5-6 T Lemon Juice (or 2-3 Lemons)
A Large Handful of Fresh Mint, chopped
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

chop and boil the potatoes until done, but still firm.  Drain and place in a bowl.  While they are warm, add the lemon juice, mint, salt and pepper to taste and a good glug or two of olive oil and mix well.    Let cool to room temperature and serve or chill and serve cold.

Spanakopita

spanakopita

Everyone I know loves this recipe...even children who normally refuse spinach eat this.  I swear there is something magical about eggs and feta in combination...Incidentally, it is also a great meal for post partum women.  All of the iron, protein and calories help rebuild the system. Make sure to leave the lemon juice in (or eat with a salad that has tomatoes in it) to help with the iron absorbtion. 

1 large bunch fresh spinach, chopped and wilted (or one entire pack of frozen leaf spinach, thawed and drained)
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 medium bunch of fresh mint, chopped (maybe 4-5 T)
1 med bunch of fresh coriander/ cilantro
2 eggs, beaten
2 T lemon juice
1 T garlic powder
3 spring onions, sliced
pepper
6 sheets filo pastry
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Mix the spinach, feta, mint, coriander, lemon juice, garlic, egg, spring onions and pepper to taste. Set aside

Layer the 3 sheets of filo on the bottom of a square baking pan/casserole dish brushing each sheet with a layer of olive oil as you go.  You will have to fold them in half.

Spread the spinach mixture over the top and smooth out.  Layer the remaining filo sheets over the top, brushing with olive oil as before. 

As filo is tricky to cut when its cooked, its a good idea to cut into serving portions at this stage.  The dish can be frozen at this point for cooking later.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden.


Mint Tea

Tear up a few mint leaves.  Add boiling water.  Put your feet up and enjoy!

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