Thursday, April 29, 2010

Need Some Mint?

If so, look no further than my yard.  I've got tons of the stuff, just waiting to be used up.  If you live anywhere nearby, give me a shout and I'll be happy to share some with you.  Seriously.

While I may be a pretty good cook/baker, alas, my gardening skills leave something to be desired.  I keep threatening to plant a vegetable garden every year but somehow I know it will probably be an exercise in futility.  If I don't manage to kill it, the tree rats (oops, squirrels) will get it so why bother?  I did manage to plant some seeds last week in one of those plastic greenhouse things, but so far nothing has sprouted.  Figures. 

Not a sprout or seedling in sight.  Looks like the damn Sahara desert!

Oh, but mint.  Now that's a whole different story.  You just plant it once and it keeps on going year after year.  Just like the energizer bunny.  Ha, maybe it's really just a weed that tastes good.  No wonder I can grow it successfully!

I'm kind of sentimental about my mint, though.  That's because it came from the house we moved out of three years ago.  You remember - that wonderful, old (repeat "OLD") house where our kids grew up and where we spent some mighty good years.  My then-next-door neighbor gave me a few cuttings from her garden which I planted .  They multiplied by about a billion.  I brought some of it with me to our new house where it continues to flourish.  I consider it my personal heirloom mint.

So be forewarned, unless you come by and take some off my hands, you may be seeing a few more mint recipes here.  Last night I used it to make chimichurri sauce, which is a mixture of fresh herbs, olive oil and vinegar with a few flavors thrown in.  Originally Argentinian, it's now become more or less mainstream, but don't let that deter you.  It's normally used as a marinade for beef, but I decided to use it as a sauce instead.  Even Henry, who is usually suspect about anything he thinks may be spicy, declared it a winner.

This is local, grass-fed beef (London broil)

CHIMICHURRI  (adapted from Bon Apetit)

1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup good red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
   (or more or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Taste to adjust seasonings. 
Use it as a sauce for grilled meat (I grilled off two London broils,
sliced and topped them with the chimichurri) or use as a marinade
before grilling.

Yield:  about 1 cup

Of course, this didn't cause the slightest dent in my mint crop.  Mojitos, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. OMG, I just finished posting a Steak with Herb Sauce recipe that Frank and I prepared last Saturday, and then I check you blog and find this. i fell in love with Chimichurri sauce and Argentinian steaks in Buenos Aires last June. I will make this recipe soon.