Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dessert Mint Pesto

Garden mint is taking over my little corner of the world! I've been on a quest to find new ways to use this wonderfully aromatic herb. Happened upon a recipe while looking for different pesto recipes and had to give it a try.

2 cups mint leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

So out to the herb bed I went and I snipped and snipped, hardly making a dent in the abundance of mint (I think that just rhymed somehow!).

I rinsed my mint and shook it dry...

Then stripped all the leaves off into a measuring bowl...

I had four cups of mint leaves if I pressed down on them.

Pay no attention to all the squash in the background...
it is also trying to take over my world!

So, I doubled the recipe... In my blender I combined the mint leaves...

With the walnuts (any nut will do... Mmmmm Macadamia would be yummo! But I had walnuts... which are yummy too!

I added the honey...

And the vanilla extract (which I made last year, by the way, and it's wonderful! I'll never go back to storebought vanilla! Never!)

Then I blended it all up! This took a little doing and I almost grated the handle of a wooden spoon in there a time or two... but at last I got it all blended and smooth... Oh the SMELL!!!! I wish you could smell the smell!!!  Too bad we don't have smeller-net!

Then I poured (and scraped) it into a couple of freezer cups to store in the freezer (kept some out for eating NOW!)

My imagination is going WILD thinking of things to do with this stuff... I'm thinking sandwiched between two chocolate cookies... stirred in chocolate ice cream... as a filling between two layers of chocolate cake... (am I seeing a chocolate theme here or is that just my imagination?) or just with a spoon right out of the cup (well maybe not, but it's really really good!)


  1. Other ideas on your abundance of mint:

    1. Mint vodka. Empty out a vodka bottle. (No, don't drink it! Pour it into a pitcher or something.) Stuff the empty bottle as full as you can with clean fresh mint leaves. Pour the vodka back in. (What won't fit, NOW you drink.) Cap it tightly and put it in the back of the cupboard. Forget about it. Every time you rediscover it, invert the bottle a couple of times. After a few months, strain out the mint leaves. Delicious mint-flavored alcohol.

    2. Make mojitos. Put about 12 clean fresh mint leaves in a sturdy bowl. Cut a lime into about 8 wedges. Put a couple of the wedges in the bowl with the lime. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Use the butt handle of a large knife (or a muddler, if you happen to have a fancy bar tools set) to mash the leaves, lime wedges and sugar together to release the lime and mint oils into the sugar. Add 2 more lime wedges and continue to smash everything together. Fill 2 manhattan glasses with ice cubes. Pour a jigger of rum over the ice in each glass. Divide the lime and mint mixture between the two glasses. Pour 1) club soda OR 2) ginger ale OR 3) tonic water over the ice to fill. Stir. Garnish with another lime wedge. This is absolutely delicious and totally sneaks up on you because you do not taste how alcoholic it is till later. We only discovered that tonic water works when I thought we had club soda and we didn't, but we had tonic, so we tried it, and while it's quite different, it's still very good.

  2. You could also make a mango or other fruit type chutney or salsa, use this yummy mint pesto and put it over rice, pasta or other? The possibilities are intriguing.

  3. Hey I have mint ;) this looks delicious!! Now how do I talk my squash into taking over my world? I think I am the only person on the planet who can't make that stuff grow. -Carla

    1. Thanks Carla! Talk real sweet to your squash! (actually, how are the bees and other pollinators around your squash? my brother, who grows an amazing garden every year said his squash isn't doing well at all this year and he's pretty sure it's because he's not seen many bees around and squash really needs pollinators to produce well... just a thought) ~~Granny

    2. Mr or Mrs Bumblebee was in the beans yesterday and a wasp was in the squash row the other day. However I was down there today and I think my seeds got mixed up because while 1 plant is a crook neck squash the others appear to be zucchini and they are a couple of those now. -Carla

    3. Oddly, this year I planted three different squash varieties: a yellow straightneck (which I've grown several years in a row, and it's usually quite prolific), a zucchini, and pattypans. The zucchini and pattypans have produced like mad, but the yellow straightneck has hardly done anything at all. I don't understand it, frankly. *shrug*

  4. That mint pesto would be wonderful over a softened block of cream cheese & add some crackers & you've got appetizers!

    1. Yummy idea... thanks! ~~Granny

    2. I have so much mint. I am going to try this it sounds so easy and very yummy and healty too.

  5. Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing. I am definitely going to try this.

  6. Mmmmm. Looks and sounds delicious! Thanks so much!

  7. Sounds so good! I can imagine it in a smoothie. A friend gave me chocolate mint tea leaves. Thought there must be a way to flavor the leaves. As it turns out there is a chocolate mint plant and I planted some! So...what about chocolate mint pesto??? On another note... an British friend served minted carrots as a side dish one evening. I fell in love with this dish. Steam a bag of carrots, leaving them a bit firm. After they cool, cut into Julliene strips and simmer with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and vinegar to taste. A couple of minutes before serving toss in a "few" mint leaves and simmer for a minute or two. Maahvelous! I love your blog!

  8. I've got a chocolate mint plant, too. Will have to try this recipe out :-)

  9. I grew Chocolate Mint this year and gave this pesto a try using walnuts and some real maple syrup I had. It has an amazingly intense flavor. I swirled it into some softened vanilla ice cream--now if only I had some chocolate mint cookies!

    1. Oh MY GOSH!!! that sounds AMAZING!!!! ~~Granny

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