I’m not one of those foodies who spends hours in front of The Food Network. My only bond with cooking shows was during my nannying stint in Paris, when I watched to learn more French and inspire my menus. The tv personalities solidified my understanding of the words butter, cream, more butter and more cream. Yet, like a foreigner attempting to swear in a second language, I pretend I have enough understanding to reference the Iron Chef in social settings.
What [I think] I know is there is a secret ingredient, and several talented chefs must scramble to highlight that ingredient in an out-of-this-world way. My understanding of the rules and personalities stops there, but I do mentally play my own version of this challenge from time to time. In Iron Quelcy (if you will), I select an ingredient to feature in a menu, incorporating that ingredient into each element of the meal, from the cocktails, to the main course, to the dessert. The challenge is for the ingredient to be a common thread through the meal, not an overwhelming, blanketing flavor that in the end feels like eating one big bowl of mush.
For our most recent dinner on the farm, the star ingredient was mint, which grows rampantly in these parts. Most often associated with sweet leanings, the true brainstorm was using mint in savory ways. First up: Mint Pesto! Akin to a traditional basil pesto, this minty version has kicks of lemon and garlic contrasted by the sweet, cooling mint associations. It pairs well with grilled vegetables (we used eggplant, onions & zucchini), as a crostini spread, or wherever you would typically apply pesto. Give it a whirl, and stay tuned for more results of my self-imposed mint challenge.
yield: ~ 1 1/2 cups
fresh mint from 12-15 long stems
1/2 cup organic raw cashews
3 cloves of garlic
juice from 1 organic lemon (medium sized)
1/2 cup olive oil (more if you want a thinner consistency)
Combine the mint, cashews and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add the oil and lemon juice, and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Add more olive oil if need be.
Transfer to a jar, and store in the refrigerator.
This Post Has 4 Comments
This recipe sounds amazing! I love mint, but I live in a city so nothing but dogs run rampant in these parts. I don’t mind though, but I’d love to have my own farm one day…well, I say that loosely, I just want a garden full of herbs & a bunch of farm animals like chickens, lambs, goats, & a pig. I like that you used cashews instead of pine nuts in your recipe. Pine nuts are so expensive!! I mean, nuts in general are pretty pricey, but cashews don’t break the bank that much.
I’ve noticed that you have a little Yummly badge on your site, but you haven’t installed the Yummly recipe plugin! Lady, you really should. Makes displaying your recipes really pop like mint in a pesto. 🙂
Hi Tiffany! I’m in a city as well. We were just lucky enough that my fella found a string of vacant lots that suited his farming vision. Mint is one of those herbs that could fill a fire escape or balcony in the blink of an eye. My thumb is far from green, and I might even stand a chance growing it. 🙂 And yes, pine nuts break the bank, so cashews to the rescue! I’ll have to look into the Yummly plugin, and I look forward to following your adventures.
Wow. Mint is growing like crazy!!!! I don’t live in a city. Wonder if you can freeze pesto. Lovely website and dogs!
Thanks Jackson! We have frozen pesto in the past without complaint. I’d say it’s a go!