|Mint ~ Photo from Herb Expert co uk|
|Mint Tisane with Lemon Verbena|
Spearmint has traditional uses as a medicinal herb. It was commonly used to whiten teeth and soothe bites and stings. It is the most common variety of mint used in cooking and brings a sweet, refreshing taste to savoury dishes such as lamb and peas and also fruit salads and chocolate.
Peppermint provides the most widely used essential oil in medicines. It is more often used to enhance the flavour of sweet dishes and is the most popular variety of mint to be chopped and used to make a refreshing cup of tea.
Japanese mint is used in Asian cooking, such as Thai and Chinese dishes.
There are three main varieties of mint that people grow in their gardens: Pennyroyal mint – the most common type of mint.
A delicious combination of peas, onions and lettuce which are gently poached in a buttery sauce with crème fraîche and vegetable stock; this classic French recipe is a wonderful way to serve tender little peas, petits pois. This recipe makes a delightful accompaniment to any type of main meal, and adds a real splash of colour. I have stated fresh OR frozen peas in the recipe – frozen peas can be used to great effect out of season. In the absence of small silver-skin onions, spring onions (green onions) can be used, making this a very versatile recipe to serve throughout the year. Cut back on the butter if you are on a low fat diet – the taste will be less rich, but just as delicious.
2 ounces (50g) butter
16 small white pearl onions (green onions) or 4 spring onions, chopped ( green onions)
1 small iceberg lettuce, thickly sliced
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1/4 pint (150ml) vegetable stock
1 lb (450g) fresh peas, weight after being podded or 1 lb (450g) frozen peas
2 tablespoons of crème fraîche
small bunch of fresh mint
- Gently heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions and lettuce. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onions and lettuce soft but not coloured. If the pan gets too hot just add a little vegetable stock.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and add the caster sugar, bring to the boil and continue to cook on a fast boil for a further 3 minutes. Taste and season with a salt and black pepper.
- Add the fresh or frozen peas to the stock with the onions and lettuce. Cook over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes for the fresh peas or 5 minutes for the frozen peas – or until they are cooked through, but NOT mushy or too soft; they should still retain their vibrant green colour and have a “bite” to them.
- Just before the end of the cooking time – add the crème fraîche and gently mix; allow to heat through for about 1 to 2 minutes. Check the seasoning once more and adjust to taste.
- Serve immediately with the sprigs of fresh mint on top.
See you later and have a great weekend!
This recipe has been entered into Ren’s August Simple and in Season event!