Crushed mint leaves and strips of lemon peel are steeped in a sugar syrup, which is then tossed with fresh berries for a refreshingly light fruit compote. We've used the more readily available spearmint here, but if you happen on pineapple mint, by all means use it instead.
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed mint leaves and tender stems, crushed, plus 4 sprigs for garnish (optional), or 1/3 cup dried mint
Zest from 1 lemon, cut off in 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 1/2 quarts mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and quartered strawberries
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar, mint leaves and stems or dried mint, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 20 minutes. If using fresh mint, remove it and the lemon zest with a slotted spoon and discard. If using dried mint, strain the syrup.
Bring the syrup back to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the berries. Stir gently and then pour into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Serve the berries and syrup in bowls topped with the fresh mint sprigs, if using.