Garden-to-Table Mint

Tips for growing and caring for mint, plus our favorite recipes come harvest time.

  • <p>Homegrown Mint</p>
    Photo: Thomas J. Story

    Homegrown Mint

    In the heat of summer, nothing refreshes like the cool flavor of just-picked mint. It’s perfect in iced tea, cocktails, and mixed into salads.

    The most common mints are either a type of peppermint or spearmint. Peppermints contain menthol, so have a very strong flavor, and are often used to flavor dishes but aren’t actually eaten. Spearmints are sweeter and milder, and leaves can be mixed into dishes.

    Find the perfect mint plant here: Plant Finder  

  • <p>How to Plant and Grow</p>
    Photo: Thomas J. Story

    How to Plant and Grow

    Planting: Mint spreads quickly and vigorously, so always grow it in well-draining soil, in a container that’s at least a foot tall and wide (and even bigger is better). Place the pot in a spot that gets full or part sun.

    Watering: Water regularly, keeping soil moist but not soggy.

    More: Learn about growing mint

  • <p>How to Harvest</p>
    Photo: Thomas J. Story

    How to Harvest

    Gather as needed by clipping stems all the way to the ground.

    Divide plants when they start to outgrow their pots, about once a year. Dump the entire plant out, cut it into sections with a sharp knife or shovel, then replant the sections in fresh soil. You can give away the extra plants to friends.

  • <p>How to Cook: Our Favorite Mint Recipes</p>
    Photo: Thomas J. Story

    How to Cook: Our Favorite Mint Recipes

    And in a few months, when you’re ready to harvest, here are some of our favorite ways to eat mint.

    Mojito

    The classic Cuban libation is the perfect study in fresh mint used in a cocktail. We like to make a pitcher of these in the summer just as guests are about to arrive.

    Recipe: Mojito

  • <p>Peach and Mint Caprese Salad with Curry Vinaigrette</p>
    Photo: Lisa Romerein

    Peach and Mint Caprese Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

    Peaches and mint go Italian with this twist on the Caprese salad. The rich cheese pairs well with the mint, adding a fresh element to contrast the bold curry vinaigrette.

    Recipe:  Peach and Mint Caprese Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

  • <p>Fresh Peas with Mint and Green Onions</p>
    Photo: Lisa Romerein

    Fresh Peas with Mint and Green Onions

    This is a simple side dish that gets its bright flavor from fresh mint leaves. It’s a great complement to grilled lamb or chicken.

    Recipe: Fresh Peas with Mint and Green Onions

  • <p>Chocolate Mint Pots de Cr&#232;me</p>
    Photo: Thomas J. Story

    Chocolate Mint Pots de Crème

    These elegant, individual custards can be made a few days ahead of time for a party. Allowing the mint to steep in the milk and cream intensifies the flavor. If you like a rich custard, use all cream.

    Recipe: Chocolate Mint Pots de Crème

    This article originally appeared on Sunset.com. See it here. 

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