Mint is an ancient spice with roots in Greek mythology. The nymph Minthe was pursued by Hades, God of the underworld, when she was trampled by his love interest Persephone and turned into the herb we know as mint. Fragrant and flavorful, mint is a popular herb enjoyed across the world and goes well with a number of different spices.
Combine dried mint leaves with dried chili peppers to flavor Mediterranean dishes. The cool aftertaste of the mint counter-balances the spiciness of the chili, adding depth to marinades for meat or fish, or a savory-sweet salad dressing. According to the All Recipes website, the ancient Assyrians used mint in rituals for their fire God, having already discovered the cooling effects of the mint herb.
Basil and Oregano
Add mint to basil and oregano for a new twist on Italian or Greek dishes. Mint combines well with the two when added to salad dressings. Mix the three spices with a touch of salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil and drizzle over arugula salad with sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese. The cooling aftertaste of the mint makes this a perfect summer salad.
Make a refreshing home-made lemonade with iced water, lemon or lime juice and mint. Alternatively, combine freshly brewed black tea, a touch of lemon or lime and mint for a refreshing iced tea. Add sugar or honey to taste. This refreshing drink is widely popular across the Middle East and is a delicious alternative to store-bought iced teas or artificially sweetened lemonades. Also combine lemon and mint in marinades for fish or shrimp.
This combination is unusual but delicious. Add a dash of mint to hot cocoa for a candy cane-inspired winter drink. Alternatively, use an actual candy cane as a stirrer for hot cocoa. Mix Creme de Menthe (mint liqueur) into icing for a chocolate cake. Decorate with candy cane pieces and chocolate sprinkles. Dark chocolate particularly benefits from the slightly cool sweetness of mint.
Julia Selch has been a writer since 2006. For two years she was the editor-in-chief of the Orient News online publication. Selch's work has been published by the Canadian Press and Passion8 Magazine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Concordia University and recently completed her first novel, The Tree of Nine Worlds.