The Mint Train

Now I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun
Oh mint train sounding louder
Glide on the mint train…
Yes it’s the mint traaaaaaaaaiiiiiin

All aboard! Ride just one stop on the mint train and you’ll see what I mean. Mint is magic.

I find myself tossing freshly chopped mint into my salads, my tea cup, the coffee press pot, spring rolls, noodle bowls, dips, soups, and desserts. It elevates the freshness factor and invigorates flavors. Fresh mint is abundant in summertime, but you can get it year-round at the grocery store. I buy a big bunch every Saturday at the farmers market and tear off fresh leaves as needed.

I store mint in a bag in the produce drawer in our fridge. I realize that this method is not optimal.  I’m admittedly lazy about storing perishables, yet wasting food makes me cringe.  What does this ultimately mean? It comes to blows. Me vs. mold. Me vs. fruit flies.  Anyway, just for you, I googled how to best store mint. According to Martha Stewart, you should put your mint, stems down, in a glass of water, cover the leaves loosely with a plastic bag and refrigerate.  Martha says it will keep a week or more this way. And, if Martha says so, it must be true.

I’ve got two, simple, mint recipes for you. The mint coffee alone is reason enough to get out of bed. Together, they’ll make your day funda-mint-ally fresh.

Morning Mint Magic

Good Morning Mint Coffee

Makes one full press pot of coffee (about 2 cups)

Put coffee grounds to press pot and fill about a quarter full with almost boiling water. Stir.

Add about 20 fresh mint leaves and a big pinch of sugar. Muddle the mint with the back of a spoon to release the flavor.

Add more hot water. Stir again and let brew for at least 5 minutes.

Plunge the press and customize the cup to your liking – cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon.

Enjoy every sip of this morning mint train.

Mint Medley

Melon, Mint and Pepper Medley

Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 1 small Piel de Sapo melon (Honeydew works well, too), cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1-2 medium-sized stone fruit (peach, nectarine, plum, pluot),  cubed
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Handful of basil leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste (optional)
Place the melon and stone fruit in a large bowl and toss with pepper, lime, and mint.  That’s it!  Done.
A few notes, in case this seems too easy:
I specifically mention the Piel de Sapo melon because I just can’t get enough. I’ve been experimenting with many a melon this summer (that sounds so wrong) and this variety is my favorite. It’s really sweet, so it pairs perfectly with the pepper bite and the mint zip.
If you’ve got basil, the mint + basil combo is exceptionally bracing.  Do it. If you don’t have basil, then don’t let that stop you.
I like this with a pinch of good, flaky sea salt. But, I’m a big believer in salt. Like mint, it makes almost everything taste better.
I think this medley is best served cold. It’s the ultimate refresher.

4 thoughts on “The Mint Train

  1. Both recipes sound lovely, as always, Annie. I didn’t know you were a Cat Stevens fan. Me, too. Love, Oh, very young Aunt Cary

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