Once established in the garden, Mint grows and spreads like wildfire, and throughout the Summer, rewards you with an endless supply of the fragrant herb to inspire culinary endeavors. Prolific, hardy, and perennial. Mint has been used for centuries for its healing powers, taste and aromatic qualities. The herb even has its place in ancient Greek mythology. According to legend, the Green, fragrant herb used to be a beautiful nymph named ‘Menthe.’ She was turned into a plant by jealous Persephone who didn’t appreciate her husband Pluto’s affection towards Menthe. Pluto could not turn the plant back into a nymph, but he could give it an appealing aroma.
Fresh Mint is the perfect ingredient for a refreshing Summer meal. With Summer coming to an unofficial close, a great way to continue to enjoy this herb fresh, without any cooking, is in Pesto. This Mint Pesto Recipe is so light and delicate. It tastes herbal and green and adds a pop of color and garden-fresh flavor to any main-dish. All of the flavors are just superb combined -ingredients that fuse together for a deliciously balanced vegan, raw & gluten-free sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups packed organic fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup packed organic fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 3 Tbsp cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 large clove garlic, quartered
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Place basil, mint, walnuts, oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic and salt in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve. If you’re not using the pesto immediately, you can store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; let come to room temperature before serving. Makes 1 cup. 20 mins. prep time.
Garden Note & Tips
Like any other herb, the best time to harvest Mint is in the morning while the volatile oils in the plant are at their strongest.
Since pesto is a ‘raw’ sauce, the flavor of the olive oil is crucial to its success. Use the best cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil you can comfortably afford.
Cover tightly and store chilled for at least an hour to saturate the flavors. If storing overnight, pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the pesto to help keep it bright green.
As a flavorful accompaniment to many dishes, Mint Pesto is delicious and unexpected on sandwiches, and matches perfectly tossed with pasta (hot or cold), and adds depth and richness when mixed into brown rice, or a Raw Zucchini Salad: 1 freshly harvested medium organic zucchini, cut into long thin ribbons, 1/2 tsp freshly made Mint Pesto, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts & fresh mint for garnish. Savor Summer!