Showing posts with label mint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mint. Show all posts

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fresh Peach Cucumber Salad

Fresh peaches that aren’t fully ripe can still be used in a fresh peach cucumber salad, adding a tart bite with a hint of sweet. An herby dressing with mint and parsley complement the peaches beautifully.

Food Lust People Love: Fresh peaches that aren’t fully ripe can still be used in a fresh peach cucumber salad, adding a tart bite with a hint of sweet. An herby dressing with mint and parsley complement the peaches beautifully.

This week my Sunday Supper group are using peaches in a variety of recipes both sweet and savory. I’m in the Channel Islands right now where apparently they make no bones about the fact that the peaches are picked too young. The little plastic boxes they are sold in say quite boldly – Ripen At Home. But I think we all know how that turns out. They really don’t taste the same or ripen well at home. Never mind, though, because slightly under ripe peaches are still tasty in salad. If you are fortunate enough to have good peaches, those work too!

Fresh Peach Cucumber Salad

Aside from the mint and parsley, the dressing is a basic vinaigrette so if you have a favorite vinaigrette recipe, by all means use it and just add the herbs to the salad itself.

For the dressing:
1/4 cup or 60ml extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup or 30ml good quality white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon sugar
For the salad:
1 English cucumber
4 peaches
1/4 medium purple onion
2 1/2 oz or 70g pea sprouts

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar. Close the lid tightly and give it a good shake to combine the ingredients. Set it aside at room temperature while you get on with prepping the salad.

Cut your cucumber lengthwise in half, then cut the halves again so you have four long pieces. If the seeds are too juicy, you can but them off and discard. (My dog loves them!) Chop the cucumber into smaller chunks.

Cut the peach off the pit in slices, then cut those into smaller pieces. If you have freestone peaches, you can remove the pit, then slice and cut.

Finely slice your onion.

Add the cucumber, peaches and onion to a large salad bowl.  Give the herb dressing another good shake and drizzle on just as much as you need to wet the peaches and cucumbers. You might not use it all. (It’ll keep well in the refrigerator for a week or two.)

Food Lust People Love: Fresh peaches that aren’t fully ripe can still be used in a fresh peach cucumber salad, adding a tart bite with a hint of sweet. An herby dressing with mint and parsley complement the peaches beautifully.

Toss to coat.

Add in the pea sprouts just as you are ready to serve and toss again.

Food Lust People Love: Fresh peaches that aren’t fully ripe can still be used in a fresh peach cucumber salad, adding a tart bite with a hint of sweet. An herby dressing with mint and parsley complement the peaches beautifully.


Food Lust People Love: Fresh peaches that aren’t fully ripe can still be used in a fresh peach cucumber salad, adding a tart bite with a hint of sweet. An herby dressing with mint and parsley complement the peaches beautifully.

Many thanks to our Peachy Keen host, Sue of Palatable Pastime and our event manager, Renee of Renee’s Kitchen Adventures. Take a look at all the deliciousness we have for you this week!

Sides & Salads:
Main Dishes:

Pin this Peach Cucumber Salad!  

Food Lust People Love: Fresh peaches that aren’t fully ripe can still be used in a fresh peach cucumber salad, adding a tart bite with a hint of sweet. An herby dressing with mint and parsley complement the peaches beautifully.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Grilled Lamb Skewers with Roasted Carrots

These grilled lamb skewers are made with tender marinated leg of lamb chunks, cooked over high heat in a grill pan, then left to rest on sweet roasted young spring carrots. A sprinkle of feta and mint lend even more flavor and just the right touch of saltiness to this flavorful dish.

A number of years ago, when we were living in Kuala Lumpur, I had a friend who would buy the organic new baby carrots, greens still attached, that would turn up on occasion in one of our grocery stores. They weren’t cheap but she said that they were worth the splurge. As much as I like carrots, I didn’t imagine that she could be correct. Who would pay that much – don’t remember the exact amount except that it seemed like a lot – for carrots? Not me. After all, how special could they be?

Last week I decided that a simple spring vegetable minestrone would be the perfect recipe to share on the Sunday Supper Movement website for today’s Welcome Spring event, and since it was for the website and not just this little blog, I did splurge. I bought freshly hulled peas, fine French beans, baby zucchini, baby leeks and tiny corn on the cob along with a large bunch of spring carrots, greens still attached. Such a pot of sweet wonderfulness.

I used just a couple of the carrots in the soup so I started looking for another recipe to show off the rest. My original plan for this post was simply spring lamb but when I came across a recipe on Bon Appétit for lamb skewers with carrots, it seemed like kismet. (Which comes from the Arabic word for fate, by the way.)

Of course, Bon Appétit being Bon Appétit, the dish was complicated with two marinades and then a dressing, so I simplified it down to one marinade for the lamb and a mere sprinkling of feta and mint for the finished dish. Ain’t nobody got time for all that. I can’t imagine how this could be improved upon. It was perfect in every way and the carrots were fabulous. Sweet, tender and with such wonderful flavor. Now I know what my friend was talking about! Next time I make this, I will double the carrots so I suggest you do too. I’ve already been back to the store and bought another bunch.

Ingredients to serve 2-3
For the spring lamb skewers:
1 lb 3oz or 540g leg lamb chunks

For the lamb marinade:
2 large garlic cloves
1 small red chili pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup or 60ml dry white wine
1 teaspoon large grain sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil

For the oven roasted spring carrots:
9 1/3 oz or 265g spring carrots
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a good drizzle to coat)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
8-10 fresh mint leaves
2 oz or 57g crumbled feta
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces and put them in a Ziploc bag.

Mince your garlic and red chili pepper. Strip the rosemary leaves off of the stems and chop them finely.

Add all the marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl up to and including the black pepper, then whisk in the olive oil until well blended.

Pour the marinade into the bag with the lamb. Mix it around until the lamb is well coated, then press all of the air out and seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but you can also make this early in the day and leave it marinating till you are ready to cook dinner. Mine marinated about three hours.

To roast the carrots, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Scrub the carrots well and cut the long tops of the greens off. You can leave on a little bit for color, if desired. If some of the carrots are thicker than the others, cut them in half lengthwise.

Pile the carrots on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then spread them out so they aren't touching each other.

Roast in the preheated oven until lovely and golden and caramelized, turning once in the middle of roasting time of about 20-25 minutes.

Thread your lamb onto wooden skewers cut to fit snugly in your grill pan. Discard the bag with the marinade.

Heat the pan over high heat. You’ll need to turn your extractor fan on or perhaps even open a window because this is going to smoke. But it’s going to be fast and worth it, I promise.

Once your pan is scorching hot, lay four of the lamb skewers in it, quickly searing one side. You don’t want to crowd the grill pan so don’t try to cook them all at once.

Cook for 2-3 minutes on that side, then turn and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

This will leave your small bites of lamb still pink inside. If you want them done more, cook for another minute or two on each side. I encourage you to leave them pink inside though, because they will be more tender.

As you remove the cooked lamb from the grill pan, rest the skewers on the roasted carrots.

Continue until all of your lamb skewers are done and are resting on the carrots. Give the whole pan another few grinds of fresh black pepper.

Crumble the feta and rip the mint leaves onto the lamb and carrots.


Who is ready to welcome spring with me? My Sunday Supper family sure is. Check out all the lovely spring recipes they are sharing today!

Main Dishes:
Side Dishes:


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Jersey Royals with Mint #FoodieExtravaganza

Freshly dug Jersey Royal potatoes, boiled to tender perfection with mint and lavished with butter, are the perfect side dish to accompany any meal. Or just eat them alone, out of the bowl, with a spoon. 

When our Foodie Extravaganza theme of potatoes was chosen for August, I knew exactly what I was going to share: how to cook and best enjoy Jersey Royal potatoes. Now, if you can't get these where you live, you can substitute another thin-skinned new potato. But if you ever have the chance at some real Jersey Royals, don't let it get away! The official website says you can only buy them in the United Kingdom or in the Channel Islands, but my local grocery store in Dubai imported a number of kilos earlier this year.

A little history
Jersey, a small island in the English Channel, is well known, at least on the European side of the Atlantic, for growing wonderful potatoes, and they've been doing it for centuries. By 1879 many varieties of potatoes were grown on the island but that particular spring, up sprouted a plant that produced a unique kidney shaped tuber and it was duly dubbed the Jersey Royal Fluke. Ever since, Jersey Royals – the only potato with an official EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status - have been planted by hand on Jersey and fertilized with the nutrient rich seaweed, called vraic, which the tides deposit with regularity on the gleaming shores. Many attribute the fresh taste of Jersey Royals to this organic fertilizer.

A little personal history
My husband Simon’s grandparents moved to the island from England back in the 1960s, choosing to retire there, I’m sure, for myriad reasons, not the least of which was its tax-free status, proximity to the UK and its incredible natural beauty and abundant fresh produce. The first time I visited, summer of 1992 it was, we were living in Paris so we sped to Rennes on the snazzy TGV bullet train, hopped a regional train to St. Malo on the Brittany coast and then rode the waves on the ferry over to Jersey, hauling luggage, a travel cot and our 18-month-old toddler. But that fraught journey is a story for another day. Arriving on the island made it all worthwhile.

One sneak peek of the beauty. This is the view from the headland two minutes walk from our home.
I can't get enough of the gorgeous purple heather and the deep blue sea.

Simon’s delightfully eccentric Uncle John met us at the port and we sped home through the tight lanes, salty wind gusting through the open windows, his rattling old Volvo narrowly missing the ancient stone walls at almost every turn. We passed St. Helier, the main city on our right, bustling with shoppers and business folks. Farther along, beautiful St. Aubin’s Bay reflected the brilliant blue sky on our left, the summer sun highlighting Elizabeth Castle and brave swimmers paddling in the chilly water while families built sandcastles on the golden beach. We took a sharp right turn up a hill then nipped in to the left into a tiny gap in the great walls I would barely have noticed if we hadn’t turned. It was the Lucas Brothers farm shop where Uncle John bought all his vegetables – crisp cabbage, just dug carrots, beets and onions, fresh picked leafy greens and French beans among other things and, of course, Jersey Royal potatoes, the protective dirt still clinging to their paper thin skins.

Last week I was in Jersey, as I have been many times over the last 23 years, turning sharply in to Lucas Brothers farm shop two times in only three days, to buy Jersey Royals, and more Jersey Royals. Because when you are on the island during Royal season – April through July generally, depending on weather – that is what you want to eat. And, as far as tradition is concerned, there is only one way to cook them that lets the gorgeous natural taste of the Royals shine through. Many thanks to our next-door neighbor and Jersey cook extraordinaire, Mary, who taught me this so many years ago.

Jersey Royal potatoes, at room temperature
Few sprigs fresh mint
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Proper Jersey Royals still have all the dirt attached because it protects the tender skin and keeps the potatoes from getting bruised.

Rub the Royals by hand under some cool water to remove the dirt and any papery skins that are loose.

Put them in a large pot and cover with fresh water. Add in the sprigs of mint and some salt. I’ve since read on the internet that some folks advocate using seawater but I’ve never gone that far.

Bring the pot to a boil and then cook over a medium flame until a sharp knife poked in the Royals goes in easily, about 20 minutes.

Drain the Royals and add in a large chunk of fresh butter. Don't be shy here. It's Royal season, a time for generosity of spirit and extra butter.

Sprinkle with additional salt, a few good grinds of fresh black pepper and stir gently.

Garnish with more mint, if desired. Put the butter on the table for anyone who wants to add more to their Royals. If it’s fresh Jersey butter, I’m guaranteeing they will.


Are you a potato fan? Check out all the lovely potato dishes my Foodie Extravaganza friends are sharing today.

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. Many thanks to this month's host, Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas who honored her Idaho heritage by inviting us to share our favorite potato recipes.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tiganopsomo - Feta-Stuffed Fried Bread #BreadBakers

Tiganopsomo is a traditional Greek bread, so named because it is bread or psomi that is fried in a pan or tigani. Easy, right? It’s made of soft yeast dough, filled with cheese, then pan-fried in light oil. The finished bread circle is crispy and light, perfectly complemented by the salty filling.

This month’s Bread Bakers is being hosted by my friend Jenni, from Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online and her chosen theme is Stuffed Breads. Initially I signed up to make Char Siu Pau but when those didn’t work out so well, I started hunting around the interwebs for something new to try. And I found a winner!

Here’s my disclaimer: I have never been to Greece. I have never tasted tiganopsomo made in a Greek restaurant or by a Greek cook. Truth is, I had never even heard of tiganopsomo before. I have no idea if mine turned out the way they are supposed to. But I can tell you this: They are divine. And this is a dangerous recipe to have found and learned. It’s quick to put together and the dough only needs a  30-minute rest before you are ready to fill it and fry. Time enough to crumble or grate some cheese and chop some mint. And get the cocktails ready. Cut into small triangles, tiganopsomo would be perfect finger food for a cocktail party.

I used this recipe from My Greek Dish and made a couple of the suggested additions, mixing a harder yellow cheese with the feta – I used a sheep’s milk Kashkaval along with a sheep’s milk feta – and some fresh mint. Next time I am going to add some fresh chopped hot chilies. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it in time, this time.

1 1/4 cup or 160g flour, plus a little extra for kneading
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
1/2 cup or 120ml lukewarm water (You may not use it all.)
7 oz or 200g feta cheese, crumbled or a mixture of feta and hard cheese
(I used 3 oz or 85g feta and 4 oz or 115g Kashkaval cheese.)
About 8-9 fresh mint leaves
Vegetable oil for frying

Add the flour to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add in the yeast, salt and sugar.

Pour in the olive oil and use your hands or a spatula to mix the flour in a little at a time.

When there is still quite a bit of dry flour showing, start adding the water, mixing as you go, until you have a soft dough.

I didn’t use quite all the water before my dough already looked really wet and sticky but I was surprised as I started kneading it because it wasn’t actually sticking to me at all. That’s what oil in your dough will do, it seems.

Knead your dough on a very lightly floured surface for just a few turns. Cover the dough with cling film and allow to rest for half an hour.

Meanwhile, wash and dry your mint leaves and cut them into thin strips, chiffonade-style.

Grate or chop your harder cheese, if using, and crumble your feta. Add the mint into the cheese and mix well.

When the rest period is up, cut your dough into four equal pieces and use a rolling pin to roll them into thin circles about 1/4 in or 1/2 cm thick. Any thicker and you risk the dough not cooking through before it gets brown. We are looking for light and crispy.

Top two of the circles with the cheese mixture and cover with the other dough circles. Use your hands to squeeze the air out from between them before pressing the edges together.

Seal the edges well, using a fork to add a decorative pattern all around the outsides. This is important, as you don’t want your filling leaking out.

Heat your skillet over a medium flame and add just enough oil to cover the bottom.

Fry the stuffed breads one at a time.

Turn when golden on the bottom.

Put them on paper towels to absorb any excess oil when they are crispy on both sides.

Cut into wedges to serve. These are fabulous warm but can also be eaten at room temperature or reheated till crispy once more in a dry non-stick skillet after being refrigerated. (I’ve tested all three ways!)


For appetizers, cut the circles into eight or 12 wedges instead of just four!

Many thanks to our host, Jenni from Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online for a great challenge! My fellow Bread Bakers have exceeded themselves this month and I can’t wait to try all the stuffed breads they’ve made.

Sweet Breads
Savory Breads


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Mini Bundts #BundtBakers

Homemade dark chocolate mint truffles make these darling little Bundts special. Start at least one day ahead to make sure the truffles have time to set and freeze before baking your little cakes. 

Technically this is not part of the official Christmas Week posts but, seriously, what is more Christmassy than mint? I'm thinking candy canes, After Eights, York Peppermint Patties and all manner of candy bark with crushed mints. I submit to you, nothing is! That is why I was delighted when this month’s Bundt Baker host, Laura from The Spiced Life chose mint as our theme. And since my younger daughter is now home for the holidays, I went with one of her favorites, mint and chocolate. From the time she was tiny, her favorite candy has been those York peppermint patties. It’s a classic combination.

Make sure you scroll on down to the bottom of my recipe to see the mint delights that all the other Bundt Bakers have created for you today.

For the truffles:
1/3 cup + 5 teaspoons or 100ml whipping cream
7 oz or 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used one bar of plain dark and one bar of dark with mint to add more minty goodness.)
1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
Cocoa and/or powdered sugar, for rolling

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups or 190g plain flour
1 cup or 200g sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup or 27g best-quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup or 150ml sour cream

For the mint glaze:
1 cup or 125g confectioner’s or icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

First we need to make the truffles. They are super easy but the chocolate/cream mixture needs time to set before rolling into balls. And then you want to freeze them before adding them to the batter to bake. So, as mentioned in the headnote, start a day early.

The Truffles
Bring the cream just to the boil in a pan or in a microwaveable bowl in the microwave oven. Remove from the stove or microwave and stir in the mint extract and chocolate.

You could eat this with a spoon. Try not to. 

Stir until melted. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator until the mixture is solid, about 2-3 hrs.

Scoop out teaspoons of the mixture and roll into tiny balls with your hands, then roll the balls in cocoa or powdered sugar.

You want at least 24 balls (two per mini Bundt) but will probably get many more since they have to be small to fit in and on the little Bundts. Not to worry. They are delicious and any extras will get eaten. Freeze the truffles till you are ready to bake.

I did half cocoa and half powdered sugar. And yes, there are three big ones. I got tired of rolling when I had enough little ones. 

Okay, so it’s the next day now, right? And your tiny truffles are frozen. On to the cake!

This recipe is from Nigella’s Feast and could not be easier. She chucks everything straight in the food processor but I like to sift my dry ingredients (except the sugar) since sometimes they have lumps. Feel free to follow her method. Original recipe can be found online here.

The Cake Batter
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Grease and flour your mini Bundt pan or use that baking spray that has flour in it.

Measure your flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix well.

Put the rest of the cake ingredients - sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream - into a food processor. Sift the dry ingredients into the processor.

Process until you have a smooth, thick batter.

You could also eat this with a spoon. Try not to.

Put one scoop of batter into each cup. Press one mint truffle into the batter then top with the remaining batter. I put the powdered sugar ones in the cakes and saved the cocoa ones for on top.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until the tops are springy to the touch. Clearly the toothpick-in-the-middle test won’t work here.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes then turn the Bundts out to cool on a wire rack. I trimmed the overhanging edges off of my mini Bundts to neaten them up but you can leave yours on if you want.

While the Bundts cool, mix up your glaze.

The Glaze
Put the powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl with the mint extract and one tablespoon of milk. Stir well.

Keep adding milk a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you get the pouring consistency you desire. I like a thick glaze but some people prefer thinner so you have to be the judge.

When the little Bundts are cooled completely, pour or drizzle on the glaze. I like to use a piping bag because it’s less messy than actual drizzling and I have more control.

Top each mini Bundt with a little chocolate mint truffle.


The truffle inside makes a nice minty,chocolate rich bite near the top of the mini Bundt.

Bundt Bakers Logo

Your Bundts with mint! We've got 'em!

What is Bundt Bakers? It's a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Bundt Bakers Pinterest board for incredible Bundt cake recipes and inspiration.  You can find information and links to the recipes for each month in our  #BundtBakers page.

How is the monthly theme determined? We take turns hosting each month and the host gets to choose the theme/ingredient.

Would you like to join in the fun? If you are a food blogger, send an email with your blog name and url to