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Mint Pesto
Right Food for the Season - Early Spring
Written by Michelle Lahey   

I have a very vivid memory from my childhood involving mint. My aunt walked my siblings and me through her garden and had all of us try a fresh mint leaf. At the time, it tasted like nothing but toothpaste with an odd, chewy texture. Let’s just say I didn’t love it, and that unpleasant taste stayed on my tongue for quite some time afterwards. 


mintNow that I’m older – with a small, city-size garden of my own – I have much more appreciation for the bright, refreshing herb. Which is a good thing, considering it grows with a vengeance. This time of year, there’s so much of it that there is no guilt in plucking up several roots in order to make use of the aromatic herb in every recipe possible.

A typical go-to for mint in this gardener’s kitchen is cocktails. But sometimes, testing liquor-based recipes in the middle of the workday just doesn’t seem appropriate. And since most other herbs grown around this kitchen get turned into pesto, the only logical idea was to use this mint in its own pesto creation.

The salt and hint of paprika in this recipe turn the pesto into a more savory dish, preventing the mint from coming on too strong. Try this pesto on a revamped caprese salad, drizzled on roasted lamb, or tossed with whole wheat pasta.   

Mint Pesto

Yields: About ½ cup

Adapted slightly from MarthaStewart.com

3 cups loosely pack mint leaves

¼ cup slivered raw almonds

¼ teaspoon paprika

Pinch of salt

¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Place mint and almonds in a small food processor; pulse until finely chopped.

Season mint and almond mixture with paprika and salt. Turn on food processor, and slowly add olive oil while it’s running. Continue pulsing until smooth. 

mint pesto




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