X

Subscribe to Kosher Like Me weekly newsletter so you won't miss a thing.
We promise that it's painless and we'll NEVER share your info.

EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Seasonal Snippet & Minty Salmon Cuke Rolls

Seasonal Snippet & Minty Salmon Cuke Rolls

Katy Morris

We’re kicking off our warm weather Seasonal Snippets column with lots of minty inspiration and a gluten-free, low fat recipe for Mint Salmon Cucumber Rolls.  With mint‘s uplifting and invigorating scent and all-around culinary versatility, it is a seasonal shoe-in!

While in ancient times, mint leaves were scattered on the floors of synagogues and home foyers as a symbol of hospitality, these days we prefer them on our plates and in our glasses to perk up everything from morning tea to savory dinners and cooling desserts. Here’s what you need to know.

photo: Leaf and Ardor
photo: Leaf and Ardor

 What are some of the benefits of using mint?

Cristina Copersino and Connie Pappas of Leaf & Ardor Co. love it as a soothing, natural digestive (perfect as an after meal tea). In addition, it has energy inducing and stress relieving qualities and is super high in vitamins A and C, trace minerals and antioxidants.

 

What’s the difference between spearmint and peppermint?

 

There are actually over 30 kinds of mint but the most popular are peppermint and spearmint. The former usually has purplish stems and smooth leaves while spearmint is milder and easier to cook with. Check out your local farmers’ market to see what kinds are available – you might find grapefruit mint, pineapple mint and much more!

 

What does a good mint leaf look like?

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

 

Similar to other fresh herbs, you want vibrantly green leaves with straight stems; stay away from wilting or yellowing ones or ones with any signs of blemishes.

 

What are some useful kitchen tips?

 

Once you pick out the best leaves from your local market, rinse the bunch in cold water to get any dirt or grit out.  Shake off any excess water or use a salad spinner to dry.

To store for later, simply wrap the leaves up in a damp paper towel and place in a ziplock bag. Then, pop ‘em in your fridge (be sure they don’t get squished) and they should be good up to two weeks (note: this method generally works well for most fresh herbs like cilantro as well).

 

Washed up and ready to go – how should I use?

Minty Salad- Photo: Liz Rueven
Minty Salad- Photo: Liz Rueven

 

While it makes a beautiful, eye-catching garnish on cold soups, scoops of ice cream or a atop a refreshing afternoon cocktail or smoothie, there are tons of other ways to use fresh mint to get the most out of its flavor – so don’t stop there.

 

Pairings: According to Connie and Cristina, mint pairs especially well with citrus fruits, melon, mango, ginger, fresh spring veggies like asparagus and green beans, other herbs like cilantro and basil, fresh fish (especially salmon – check out the great recipe below!), chocolate, and of course, green tea with matcha.

Ideas: Mint is super versatile and can be used as a simple add-in or a star player on your plate. Try Moroccan Mint Salmon Cucumber Rolls (recipe below) for a unique approach, but you can also simply toss fresh leaves in a green salad; puree it with other fresh herbs for pesto, spread or dressing; blend it in a fruit smoothie; use it to lighten up a rich sauce or chutney over a more savory meat dinner as well – the possibilities are endless.

 

Fun Fact: According to Greek mythology, mint was not only considered sweet tasting, it had medicinal power to clear the voice and cure hiccups. There’s even a little romantic intrigue afforded to this fragrant plant: Legend has it that  “Minthe,” once an intoxicating nymph, was Pluto’s lover. That angered Pluto’s wife, Persephone, who in a fit of rage turned Minthe into a lowly plant, to be trod upon. Pluto, unable to undo the spell, was able to soften it by giving Minthe a sweet scent, which would perfume the air when her leaves were stepped on.

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

For all you gardeners out there, think about planting some mint along your walkways where you can brush up against it (a natural cologne!) or step on its leaves to release its soothing fragrance into the air as Pluto hoped. On warm summer nights, these aromas are especially beguiling!

Also be sure to try their Minty Matcha Cocktail (or “Mocktail) Recipe here, which “incorporates matcha (green tea powder), fresh mint, honey, lemon, lime juice and either vodka or sparkling water for a refreshing and delicious spring/summer beverage,” says Connie and Cristina.

photo: Leaf and Ardor
photo: Leaf and Ardor

Think sultry Southern evenings, sipping Mint Juleps on a porch built for warm weather indulgences, and you’ll want to make mint a summer staple in your kitchen! Cheers!

Thank you once again to Connie and Cristina of Leaf & Ardor Co. for this creative recipe.

Photo: Leaf and Ardor
Photo: Leaf and Ardor

6 Comments

Leave a Reply