Mentha – The Mint Family|
There are more mint varieties than you can shake a stick at! While spearmint and peppermint are the most common, we count orange, chocolate and pineapple among our favorites. Mints like water. Lots of water! Most mints do well in full sun or partial shade.
Mints are known for being rambunctious growers. Control this vigorous herb by:
- Try growing mint in large containers. Bury the containers in the ground to ensure it will survive the winter.
- Plant it where it can't spread (i.e. between the house and the lawn).
- Rip it back on a regular basis. We do this a couple of times a year, drying the plant stems we remove, and it keeps our mints in check nicely.
- The variegated varieties are somewhat better behaved than their green-leaved cousins. Lime and grapefruit mints are also less energetic.
In tea, of course! Add a couple of ounces of mint and 6 tea bags to a gallon of water and let it sit in the sun for a few hours. Strain out the herbage and you’ve got Sun Tea!
Mint also dries well and makes a wonderful herb tea to enjoy all winter long.
Add mint to green salads. Use it a bit sparingly, as it can overwhelm other flavors.
Zucchini Salad with Mint and Lemon
A great way to use up all those zucchini!
5 small zucchini (about 1 ˝ lbs.)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 ˝ Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut each zucchini into thin slices, lengthwise. Heat ˝ of the oil in a large skillet. Add ˝ the zucchini and half the garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes and then use tongs to flip the slices over. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1 ˝ Tablespoons of mint. Cook 3-4 minutes or until slices are golden brown. Transfer slices to a serving platter and repeat the process with the rest of the zucchini. After all the zucchini is cooked and placed on the serving platter, sprinkle it with the lemon juice, salt and pepper and the remaining 1 ˝ tablespoons of mint. Serve at room temperature.
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