How Can I Use More of My Fresh Mint?

Good Question

Q: I have a little mint plant that has responded tremendously to some organic plant food I gave it and I now have an abundance of mint! What can I do with it? I've mostly just been using it as a garnish in drinks. Does anyone have any good ideas for recipes which feature mint? - Laura

Laura, I have the same problem: an overflowing pot of mint. Mint needs to be cut back this time of year, or else it will flower and go to seed. There are many ways to use it, though; here are a few I like.

Syrup: You can make a mint syrup to use in cocktails and desserts. Avoid recipes that call for boiling the mint itself; this will give an unpleasantly muddy flavor. Mint is a delicate herb. I am hoping to try this recipe from Food & Wine soon.

Ice Cream: You can infuse mint in ice cream for a delicious backyard-style mint flavor. It will taste more herbaceous than ice creams flavored with peppermint oil. Try our mint chocolate chip or a version with crushed chocolate cookies.

Salads and Stir-Fries: We usually think of mint as an accessory to sweet foods. But also try a few leaves minced and tossed with your next salad. We also enjoy mint in some Asian stir-fries, along with a little spicy basil.

Readers, what's your favorite way to use mint a handful at a time?

Related: Tips: Three Ways To Preserve Fresh Herbs

(Image: Faith Durand)