A wide variety of mint plants exists, ready for use in the kitchen to contribute a refreshing flavor to any dish. Look for common peppermint and spearmint and the more rare curly, pineapple and ginger mint. Choose a mint variety you personally like for cooking, and experiment with different types of mint to find the pairings you like the most.
Steeping mint leaves in hot water creates a soothing mint drink, traditional in North Africa. Crushed mint leaves combined with bourbon, sometimes sugar and ice results in a mint julep. Add mint leaves to freshly brewed iced tea or lemonade for a twist on a cooling summer classic.
Middle Eastern cuisine adds mint to savory meats entrees such as lamb. Mint sauce also accompanies roasted lamb in western societies. Thai spring and summer rolls use whole mint leaves wrapped with the fillings to add a freshness to the dish.
Tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern salad, combines chopped mint with bulgur wheat, chopped tomatoes and chopped cucumbers for a side to accompany any meal. Chop mint leaves and stir them into side dishes, as this herb pairs especially well with fresh peas, carrots, beans and potatoes. Couple mint with fruits such as berries and melon for a brighter flavor.
Chocolate and Mint
Mint pairs with chocolate in many desserts, from chocolate covered mint cookies to mint chocolate chip ice cream. The bright, cool mint flavor contrasts with the deep, richness of chocolate, making these an ideal pair.