Spring Herbs: Using Fresh Mint

We've seen plenty of herbs at the farmers' markets lately, and one we'd like to use more of is mint. And not just for sweet stuff...When we were growing up, our parents grew mint in the backyard and added it to pitchers of iced tea. Last summer, we used it to make Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. And, with the Kentucky Derby coming up next weekend, you could certainly make mint juleps.

But lately we've been craving crisp, crunchy vegetables and light dishes. Summer rolls with tender mint leaves tucked inside (which we find in most Vietnamese versions) are sounding really good right now.

The photo above is of Shrimp and Coconut Rolls from this month's Bon Appétit, which have fresh, shaved coconut in them. You don't even have to get that fancy, though. Any combination of vegetables will do, and a mandoline, if you have one, will come in handy for getting quick slivers.

Using rice wrappers sounds easy enough. You dip them in water to soften them, then roll up your ingredients. We're planning on making a version of these summer rolls soon...

More mint from our archives:

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(Images: Tom Schierlitz for Bon Appétit; Faith Hopler)

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