15 Spearmint Recipes to Add Minty Zing To Your Plate
Mint: it’s so much more than a garnish or an addition to chocolate dessert recipes. Mint is easy to grow in the garden, is incredibly aromatic and flavorful, and is a wonderful compliment to spicy, herby, savory meals. And with farm-fresh, local spearmint from The Crows Farm hitting the shelves at the Co-op this week, it’s the perfect time to experiment with it in the kitchen.
So whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, something savory, or a refreshing adult beverage, we’ve put together some of our favorite recipes that feature fresh mint.
Pistachio and Mint Pesto
While many recipes featuring mint just use a tablespoon or two as the finishing touch, this pesto recipe from Bon Appetit makes mint the star of the show.
Don’t be alarmed by the dark forest-green color of the finished product. Unlike traditional basil pesto, that’s what it’s supposed to look like!
- 2/3 cup raw pistachios
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups (packed) mint leaves, plus more small leaves for serving
- 1/2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about ½ cup)
- 1/2 a lemon
- Preheat oven to 350°. Toast nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 5–8 minutes. Let cool. Finely chop 1 Tbsp. nuts and set aside.
- Blend oil, salt, pepper, and remaining nuts in a blender until nuts are finely ground. Add 2 cups mint and blend until a coarse purée forms; season with salt and pepper. Transfer dip to a small bowl; stir in Parmesan.
- Just before serving, squeeze juice from lemon into dip and stir well. Scatter some mint leaves and reserved toasted nuts over.
Scallop, Mango, and Mint Ceviche
Shrimp is most commonly used in ceviche recipes, so the addition of scallops takes this recipe to a whole new level.
And with the high-quality seafood we have in the Pacific Northwest, why not swap in some scallops?
- 1/2 pound bay scallops (or other fresh, firm-fleshed white fish)
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño, finely diced, more to taste
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 2 scallions sliced
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 cup jicama, diced
- 10 fresh mint leaves, cut into thin ribbons (or 1/8 cup cilantro)
- 1 avocado, cubed
- Place scallops, lime juice, orange juice, zest, and salt in a bowl and mix. Add jalapeño and onion and mix again
- Add mango and jicama to the bowl. Mix and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Add fresh mint and taste. Adjust salt and jalapeño to taste.
- Right before serving, stir in the avocado, again adjusting salt. Serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips.
Refreshing Mint Tea
One of the best ways to enjoy fresh, local mint is in a tea!
Add honey and lemon or leave it plain. Enjoy it hot or have a cool and refreshing drink by pouring it over ice.
- 2 cups water (filtered)
- 15 mint leaves (fresh, peppermint or spearmint)
- 2 teaspoons sugar (or honey; start with 1 teaspoon per cup and add more as desired, optional)
- Ice (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add mint leaves.
- Steep for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on desired strength.
- Add optional sweetener as desired.
- If serving iced, fill tall glasses with ice and pour the tea over. If serving hot, pour the tea into mugs. Garnish with optional lemon slices and/or lemon juice to taste.
Spring Pea Pasta With Mint, Truffle, and Lemon
Here’s a Northwest-inspired pasta dish that celebrates some of the best fresh produce that’s grown locally in the spring.
Serve this dish warm alongside some roasted chicken breast, or chill it and enjoy it during your next backyard BBQ.
- 1 pound pasta
- 3–4 cups fresh peas
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, very finely diced
- 1 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 lemons – zest and 1/4 cup juice
- 2 cups fresh pea shoots, baby spinach or arugula
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper ( or black is OK)
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil – I prefer white
- Optional- goat cheese crumbles
- Boil pasta in a generous amount of salted water according to directions.
- During the very last minute of cooking, if serving this as a warm entree- add the peas to the pasta and just lightly blanch.
- While the pasta is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Chop the scallions, shallots, and herbs.
- Zest two lemons, and measure out 1/4 cup lemon juice ( you may need more).
- Once the pasta is just about done, add the peas to the boiling pasta water and blanch for one minute, or just until bright green. Immediately drain, place pasta and peas in large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Toss in the pea shoots (or other greens) and add the scallions, shallot, herbs and lemon zest. Stir
- Taste, adjusting salt and lemon juice, adding more of both, if necessary. ( Sometimes pasta takes a while to absorb the salt and lemon – so make sure to taste this again after a few minutes -the saltiness will have settled down quite a bit, and you may need more especially if you did not salt your pasta water)
- Drizzle with truffle oil and serve immediately.
Note: if you’re making this as a pasta salad– make sure to rinse pasta and peas in very very cold water to stop the peas from cooking any longer…this will help them keep their lovely bright green color. If making the pasta salad ahead, always taste it right before serving, it may need a little more seasoning ( salt, lemon, oil, truffle) Add the goat cheese right before serving. This serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side salad.
Healthy Mint Chocolate Slices
Mint and chocolate are basically a match made in culinary heaven.
Zingy mint and sweet chocolate pair perfectly in this recipe that’s reminiscent of peppermint patty, without the added sugar.
For the Base
- 6-8 dates
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
For the Chocolate Layer
- 1 can coconut cream
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
For the Mint Layer
- 1 can coconut cream
- 2 cups mint leaves
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Mint leaves
- Melted vegan chocolate
- Blend together all ingredients for the base in a food processor until completely combined.
- In a small loaf pan lined with parchment paper, begin to pour base mixture in. With your hands, press the mixture down so it is flat and covers the whole bottom area. Place in freezer while you prepare the next layer.
- Next, blend together all of your chocolate ingredients until smooth. Pour chocolate layer over the base layer. Freeze for 15-20 minutes.
- Blend your mint layer, and pour over the chocolate layer. Freeze overnight for best results.
- Once done, take out and with a hot wet knife cut into slices. Top with mint leaves and melted vegan chocolate!
If you think that mint only compliments sweet dishes, think again!
These chile-mint parsnips are a unique way to utilize some of that mint in your yard that’s grown a little too fast.
- 1 tablespoon thin lemon peel strips (about 1 1/2 inches long) plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 1/2 ounces), cut into pieces, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 (4-inch) Ceylon cinnamon stick
- 3 mint sprigs plus 1/4 cup loosely packed small tender fresh mint leaves, divided
- 2 pounds parsnips, quartered lengthwise, tough fibrous cores removed
- 1 1/2 cups water 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried barberries or chopped unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Urfa biber (Urfa pepper) or a pinch of crushed red pepper
- Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a deep 12- to 14-inch skillet over medium. Cook, stirring often, until milk solids turn nut-brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Working quickly, add lemon peel strips, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, and mint sprigs to butter. (Mint will cause mixture to splatter.) Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add parsnips, 1 1/2 cups water, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Bring parsnip mixture to a boil over high. Boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to medium; simmer, undisturbed, until parsnips are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Uncover; stir in lemon juice mixture, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is creamy and parsnips are glazed, about 1 minute.
- Transfer parsnips to a large platter. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and mint sprigs. Drizzle glaze over parsnips. Sprinkle with mint leaves, barberries, and Urfa biber. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Curry-Mint Rubbed Jumbo Shrimp
Curry powder and mint are an unlikely combination, but we’re here for it.
Aromatic, spicy curry and refreshing spearmint balance each other out wonderfully in this shrimp recipe.
- 1 Tbs. toasted ground coriander
- 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
- 3/4 tsp. curry powder
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. cracked black or white peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp. salt1-1/2 lb. jumbo shrimp (about 20), rinsed, shelled (tails left on), deveined, and patted dry
- Heat the broiler or prepare a grill fire.
- In a large bowl, combine the coriander, mint, curry powder, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, and salt.
- Toss the shrimp with the rub and then thread them onto skewers.
- Broil or grill until just opaque and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes, turning once.
Garlic-Ginger Chicken With Cilantro and Mint
Here’s another recipe that proves that mint has just as much of a use in savory dishes as it does in sweet dishes.
Serve this chicken with some basmati rice and a healthy serving of fresh greens.
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
- 3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander (freshly ground is best)
- 1 tsp. amchur (dry mango powder)
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (½–¾ lb. each)
- Mix garlic, lemon juice, ginger, 3 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. cilantro, and 1 Tbsp. mint in a medium bowl to form a paste.
- Mix coriander, amchur, turmeric, salt, and chili powder in a small bowl. Add spice mixture to garlic-ginger paste and stir well to combine. Transfer marinade to a large resealable bag.
- Place chicken breasts in marinade and seal bag tightly. Using your hands, gently massage marinade onto the chicken, making sure to evenly coat each breast. Chill 2 hours.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Once pan is quite hot, add remaining 1 tsp. oil, swirling pan to coat the entire surface. Reduce heat to medium. Remove chicken from marinade and cook, undisturbed, until lightly golden on one side, 1–2 minutes.
- Flip chicken and continue to cook until golden brown on the other side, 1–2 more minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook (without peeking!) 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and let chicken sit, covered, 10–15 minutes, depending on thickness of the breasts. Don’t uncover, or you’ll release the hot steam that cooks the chicken.
- Check to make sure the breasts are cooked through—there shouldn’t be any pink in the middle, and if you have an instant-read thermometer, the chicken should register 165°. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice into strips. Transfer to a platter. Garnish with cilantro and mint.
No-Churn Minted White Chocolate Swirled Ice Cream
If the warmer weather has you craving some ice cream, you’re not alone.
Here’s a no-churn, minty ice cream that you can make at home without an ice cream machine.
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 3 1/2 ounces high-quality white chocolate, melted
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
- 1-2 teaspoons spirulina or green food coloring (optional)
- Add the cream to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, simmer 30 seconds, until just warm, immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the mint, cover and steep for 15-20 minutes.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the cream into a bowl, pressing hard on the mint to squeeze out any cream. Discard the mint.
- Transfer the cream to the fridge and chill until cold, 1 hour, or overnight.
- In a small bowl, combine the melted white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk until completely smooth and there are no streaks of chocolate. Let cool completely.
- Using an electric mixer, whip the chilled cream in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks, 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla, peppermint, and salt and whip until combined. Gently fold in the white chocolate/condensed milk mixture using a spatula until just combined and smooth.
- Remove half of the cream and stir in the spirulina (or food coloring), if using, until the cream is pale green.
- Spoon the green cream into the bowl with white mint cream, gently fold the two together in 2-3 strokes until the cream is swirled.
- Transfer to a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.
- Let ice cream sit at room temperature 5–7 minutes, then scoop and enjoy!
Charred Snap Peas with Mint and Lemon
If you’re looking for a way to cook up fresh snap peas (or the snap peas taking up space in the back of your freezer), here’s a simple recipe that’s a little minty and a little citrusy.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound snap peas
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the snap peas and garlic and sauté over high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until the peas are tender-crisp and slightly charred or blistering.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the mint, lemon zest and juice and a pinch of salt.
- Taste and add more lemon juice if desired before serving warm.
Maybe you’d rather sip your mint than eat it. Here’s a classic mojito recipe that celebrates that wonderful refreshing minty flavor of the season.
- 6 large fresh spearmint leaves, plus 1 nice sprig for garnish
- 4 tsp. superfine sugar; more to taste
- 1 lime
- Crushed ice as needed
- 2 fluid oz. (1/4 cup) light rum
- Cold club soda as needed
- In a tall, narrow (Collins) glass, mash the mint leaves into the sugar with a muddler or a similar tool (like the handle of a wooden spoon) until the leaves look crushed and the sugar starts to turn light green, about 30 seconds.
- Cut the lime into quarters. Squeeze the juice from all four quarters into the glass, dropping two of the squeezed quarters into the glass as you go.
- Stir with a teaspoon until the sugar dissolves into the lime juice.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice and pour the rum over the ice.
- Top off with club soda, stir well, garnish with the mint sprig, and serve right away.
Pea, Mint, and Zucchini Salad
The addition of fresh mint offers this light and healthy salad a refreshing twist.
For the Marinated Peas
- 5 leafy sprigs of mint (about 50 leaves)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups freshly-shelled English peas (or a 10- ounce bag frozen peas)
For the Salad
- 4 small zucchini
- 4 small scallions
- 4 sprigs dill
- 1 6-ounce block feta cheese
- To make the marinade, strip the mint leaves from their sprigs. Set aside a few small whole leaves to garnish, then roughly chop the rest. Place the olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, and mint in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Blanch the peas in salted boiling water until just soft but retaining a bite. This will be 2–3 minutes for fresh peas and less than 1 minute for frozen. Drain, and then immediately stir the hot peas into the marinade. Set aside to cool.
- When the peas and marinade reach room temperature, place them in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
- Just before you’re ready to serve, slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons using a mandoline or potato peeler. Slice the scallions and strip the leaves from the dill.
- Mix the zucchini, scallions, and dill together in a bowl, and stir them through the marinated peas, with all their oily juices. Crumble the feta and sprinkle it over the salad. Garnish with the reserved whole mint leaves.
Warm Potato Salad with Lemon and Mint
Here’s a traditional Lebanese dish that’s a close cousin of the American cold potato salad.
Serve this alongside some roasted chicken or fresh fish.
- 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
- 10 fresh mint leaves, cut in chiffonade
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover by 1 inch/ 2.5 cm with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, and then remove the lid and reduce the heat to medium.
- After about 6 minutes, test a sample of the potatoes every minute or so with the tip of a paring knife. They are ready when the knife cuts into the potato with resistance, very al dente, about 12 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or they will turn to mush when you stir them with the dressing.
- Drain the potatoes and gently transfer them into a serving bowl. Season the warm potatoes with the remaining teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and olive oil, stirring gently with a metal spoon. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- When the potatoes have cooled down for 10 minutes, add the scallions and all but a tablespoon of the mint, stirring gently to combine. Top with more mint as a garnish.
Lemon Berry Mint Salad
Here’s a no-fuss recipe that combines fresh fruit and mint for a refreshing, healthy alternative to other desserts. We’re already planning on eating this all summer long.
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- 6 oz fresh blueberries
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod (seeds only) or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp organic cane sugar
- 3 sprigs of fresh mint (cut in thin strips)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Wash berries and put in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cut vanilla bean in half, scrape out seeds, and then add to bowl with fruit. Toss until vanilla bean is well incorporated.
- Add mint, lemon zest and sugar to bowl. Stir until fruit is well coated with sugar.
- Let sit for approximately 5-10 minutes and serve.
Maybe you’re more of a mint julep person than a mojito person. Here’s a classic recipe to enjoy your mint!
- 12 to 15 fresh mint leaves, plus one sprig for garnish
- 1 oz simple syrup (or peach-flavored syrup)
- 2 1/2 ounces bourbon
- Superfine sugar (optional)
- Place mint and 1/4 ounce simple syrup in julep cup or 8- to 10-ounce old-fashioned glass and gently crush leaves with a wooden muddler, working them up sides of glass.
- Loosely pack glass with finely crushed ice, then add bourbon. Drizzle remaining simple syrup on top and garnish with mint sprig lightly dusted with sugar, if desired.