STYLE

Mint lends a distinctive flavour to stuffed mushrooms, tabbouleh and daiquiri

04/22/2013 12:46 EDT | Updated 06/22/2013 05:12 EDT
Here are some recipes featuring mint.

Moroccan Stuffed Mushrooms

The addition of couscous, coriander, cumin and mint gives a Middle Eastern flavour to stuffed mushrooms. Assemble the filling for this appetizer one to two days ahead, then fill the mushrooms just before serving.

12 large white mushrooms, about 7.5 cm (3 inches) in diameter

5 ml (1 tsp) vegetable oil

Half a small onion, finely chopped

50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped raw carrot

1 clove garlic, minced

2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cumin

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground coriander

125 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked quick couscous

175 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable stock

30 ml (2 tbsp) currants

30 ml (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh parsley

30 ml (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh mint

Cut stems from washed mushrooms and trim inside edge of cap to enlarge stuffing area (see tip below). Set caps aside. Finely chop mushroom stems.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushroom stems, onion, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add cumin, coriander, couscous, stock and currants. Cover and bring to a boil; remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add parsley and mint. (Make ahead: This can be stored in the refrigerator for one or two days.)

Just before you want to serve mushrooms, heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Fluff couscous mixture again and fill mushroom caps. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Makes 12 appetizers.

Nutrition information per serving (1 piece): 61 calories; 3 g protein; 1 g fat; 10 g carbohydrates.

Tip for making room in mushrooms: Invert cleaned mushroom and pull off stem. Use the small end of a sharp melon baller to scoop excess mushroom flesh from the underside of the cap. The flesh that is removed can be chopped and added to the stuffing mixture.

Source: Foodland Ontario.

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Spinach Salad With Grilled Asparagus, Parmesan and Mint

This salad can be served as a side dish or as a light lunch or supper with some rolls.

1 bunch (about 375 g/12 oz) asparagus, trimmed

Salt and pepper, to taste

50 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra for brushing asparagus

50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped fresh mint

30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice

15 ml (1 tbsp) honey mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bunch spinach, washed, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 l/8 cups)

125 ml (1/2 cup) thinly slivered red onion

2 slices prosciutto, diced, or cooked bacon, crumbled

50 ml (1/4 cup) shaved Parmesan or 30 ml (2 tbsp) grated Parmesan

Line up asparagus in a row and skewer through centre using metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Lightly brush with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Barbecue or grill over medium heat until tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Slice into 5-cm (2-inch) pieces and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together 50 ml (1/4 cup) oil, mint, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, place spinach, asparagus, onion and prosciutto. Toss with just enough dressing to coat. Divide among salad plates. Garnish with Parmesan.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (when recipe serves 6): 150 calories; 8 g protein; 10 g fat; 7 g carbohydrates.

Source: Foodland Ontario.

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Barley Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish that can be made with bulgur, quinoa, couscous or, in this case, barley, but the mint and parsley are the real stars. It will please vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends alike.

250 ml (1 cup) pot or pearl barley

500 ml (2 cups) water

250 ml (1 cup) chopped fresh parsley

125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped fresh mint

125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped green or red onion

1 small cucumber, coarsely chopped

50 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

50 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice

2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon

3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

In a saucepan, place barley and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes, then chill.

In a large bowl, combine cooked barley, parsley and mint. Add onion and cucumber.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and pepper; pour over barley mixture and mix well. Shortly before serving, stir in tomatoes. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 161 calories; 3 g protein; 22 g carbohydrate; 5 g fibre; 1 g sugars; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 231 mg sodium; 209 mg potassium.

Source: Alberta Barley Commission, gobarley.com.

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Strawberry Mint Daiquiri

Mint is a common ingredient or garnish for a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks because of its distinctive, fresh flavour. Try adding some leaves to your iced tea or lemonade.

625 ml (2 1/2 cups) strawberries

12 mint leaves

125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen limeade concentrate

15 ml (1 tbsp) granulated sugar

16 ice cubes

175 ml (3/4 cup) rum or ginger ale

Whole strawberries, for garnish

In a blender, combine strawberries, mint, limeade and sugar and process until pureed. Add ice cubes; blend until slushy. Slowly stir in rum for an alcoholic version or ginger ale for a non-alcoholic drink. Garnish each serving with a fresh strawberry.

Makes about 1.35 l (5 1/2 cups).

Nutrition information per 125-ml (1/2-cup) serving: 75 calories; 11 g carbohydrates.

Source: Foodland Ontario.

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