More than 30 varieties of this aromatic herb grow throughout the world. Peppermint and spearmint are the most common, but
watch for chocolate mint and other interesting kinds at farmers markets.
Season: Year-round; peaks June through August.
How to Choose Mint
Peppermint, which has a slight peppery taste, is more pungent than spearmint. Its identifying traits: bright green leaves and stems with a slightly purple tinge. Milder spearmint has gray green or dark green leaves and stems. Look for evenly colored, fresh-looking leaves with no signs of wilting or discoloration at the edges.
How to Store Mint
Place mint stalks in a glass of water like a bunch of flowers, cover the leaves with a plastic bag, and refrigerate. The herb can keep for up to a week if the water is changed frequently.
How to Use Mint
Mint pairs equally well with sweet and savory dishes, including meat (particularly lamb and pork) and potatoes. Try it chopped with vegetables like carrots and corn or in fruit salads; leave it whole as garnish with cold drinks and desserts.
Real Simple Mint Recipes:
- Old-Fashioned Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Watermelon Salad With Mint and Crispy Prosciutto
- Lamb Meatball Gyros With Yogurt and Mint
- Lamb Burgers with Cucumber Mint Relish
- Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.