By Kim Dannies
Fresh mint is a beloved herb. Abundant and easy to harvest, mint adds volume and vibrant sparkle to every dish it graces. Mint is vivacious—OK, truth—it is invasive. Keep your garden in mint condition by planting it in a large container pot and enjoy its bountiful splendor all summer long.
Minty Spring Pea Hummus
Heat 1 T of olive oil in a pot over low-medium heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped red onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of fresh shelled or frozen peas, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer five minutes; drain the peas and onions.
De-stem 3 cups of fresh mint and chop leaves in a food processor. Add the peas, 2 T of tahini, 2 T of sour cream, salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until you have a rough purée. Makes 4-6 servings.
Minted Turkey Burgers
In a medium prep bowl combine 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey with 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion. Mix in 2 cups of freshly chopped mint, 1 T finely chopped fresh ginger, 1 T vegetable oil, 1 scant teaspoon chili powder, 1 t salt, and 1 t garam masala. Lightly moisten your hands and form the mixture into 4 patties. Fill a shallow bowl with panko breadcrumbs. Coat the patties in the panko.
Heat a nonstick skillet with 1 T olive oil on medium heat. Fry patties in a covered skillet until browned and cooked through, six minutes each side, turning once, pressing gently. To ensure the meat is cooked through, check the center of a burger. Place burgers on beds of lightly mixed greens; top with minty hummus. Serves 4.
Place 2 cups of bulgur wheat in a bowl and pour boiling water over until just covered. Set for 10 minutes; fluff with a chopstick. Combine 3 cups sliced grape tomatoes, 4 sliced scallions, and one fistful each of fresh mint and parsley, chopped. Toss veggies with 4 T olive oil, and 4 T of lemon juice; season with salt and pepper; fold into the bulgur. Serves 4-6.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff. They have three twenty-something daughters, who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.