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Peas with Prosciutto & Mint

I am excited about this weekend, especially with the forecast predicting stunningly beautiful weather in Atlanta the next couple of days. My plan is to enjoy the outside tomorrow and work on my pasty appearance. And then on Sunday, my friend Tania and I are going to a food tasting. I have never been to one, so it should be fun.

To start off the weekend, I wanted to enjoy another invigorating dish, like the Szechwan Wraps…one with mint!

Mint is not a regular visitor in my home. I usually only bring it in when it is called for in a specific recipe (like the one posted here), or to put in tea when I am not feeling well. Why add it to the tea? Mint tends ease nausea, helps digestion and reduces heartburn, and alleviates stress. Wait, now that I think about it…if mint helps improve stress, why am I not chewing tea leaves 24/7?

According to one website, The Greeks believed mint could clear the voice and cure hiccups and mint still helps with hiccups, watery eyes, and headaches in children.

I do have to admit, I had no idea there were so many types of mint.

  • Spearmint is the most common culinary mint. Use it fro drinks -subtle mint flavor.
  • Use peppermint for drinks and desserts -bold, pungent mint flavor.
  • Moroccan Mint is used to make traditional mint teas -infuses better.
  • Apple mint is a good flavoring for cold drinks, while it is hybrid -a mix of apple mint and spearmint- is said to make the best mint sauce -aroma of mint and green apples.
    (I thought AApplemint was just a really cool name for Kate’s blog! Hee!)
  • Ginger Mint is rated less among cooks because it doesn’t have strong mint flavor.
  • Lemon Mint is good in drinks and used as a potpourri -mild mint and citrus aroma.
  • Pineapple mint is good for salads and cooking -subtle mint and pineapple flavor.
  • Chocolate mint smells slightly of chocolate and is good in desserts.

And, how about these? I love learning about substitutions.

Mint substitution - if a recipe calls for mint and you don’t have it, substitute 1 Tbs chopped fresh mint with:

  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp dried mint from herbal mint teabag
  • ¼-½ tsp mint extract
  • 1 drop peppermint oil
  • 1-3 Tbs mint cream -reduce liquid by 1-3 Tbs and reduce sugar if necessary
  • 3-4 Tbs peppermint liquor -reduce liquid by 3-4 Tbs if necessary
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley -only savory dishes
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil -good in sweet and savory dishes

In Sara’s Peas with Prosciutto & Mint, the combination of mint and prosciutto adds a sense of refinement to (what can be) a pretty ordinary side dish. It is also perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging (Check out the Rules for Weekend Herb Blogging, the host for each week and the WHB site for more info. This week’s host is Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.)

Peas with Prosciutto & Mint

from Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan (The Kitchn)
makes 8 servings

2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen shelled peas
1 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 mint leaves, sliced very thin (chiffonade)
1 ounce (about 2 thin slices) prosciutto

Prepare an ice bath and get out a strainer. Cook the peas in boiling, salted water for just a few seconds, then drain, plunge into ice bath and drain again. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pepper and salt. Toss the peas in the dressing. Add the ribbons of mint. Tear the prosciutto roughly into little 1″ wide squares. Gently toss prosciutto with peas. Scoop out ½ cup servings into small cups, ramekins or bowls between 4 and 8 ounces.

Have a great weekend! And, there is still time for the Cookbook Clearance Event…The Next Round. Deadline is Monday, June 1st, 8PM EST.