I live in the Sonoran Desert of the Southwest. For about nine months out of the year the sky is clear and blistering blue, a few wisps of cloud try to make their presence known but usually fail quite miserably. The sun is bright and warm, and a temperate breeze lights gently upon your skin. People from colder parts of this continent flock here to partake of the easy and accommodating climate …
But then summer arrives and all our fair weather friends depart, while us locals are stuck here for three months (sometimes four or five when the weather gods are angry with us) in the most oppressive, dry, bone-sucking season of heat imaginable that also, paradoxically, is our monsoon (rainy) season …and our wind storm season, our dust storm season, our fire season … let’s see did I leave anything out? If I did, it doesn’t matter. Our summer season in the desert is more than I can handle!
It’s hard on people, animals and plants … except cacti, of course. My potted geraniums literally fry in the heat, even if I put them in the shade. My beautiful potted herbs, though protected under shade-cloth, are fighting for their little, green lives. Tender thyme is burning, basil is drooping, and parsley leaves are singed. I even have one succulent that is barely making it right now. It’s a tragedy. My pot of mint is the only one flourishing. With enough water, mint grows like a weed … and a mighty tasty one, it is.
There isn’t much to celebrate in this weather but my burgeoning mint makes me smile, so today’s post is all about the deliciousness of Mint!
I put 4 or 5 leaves of mint in each glass of the gallon of water I drink each day (to stay hydrated in this god-forsaken place … sorry, I’m just a little grumpy right now … heat can do that to a person), and it is also delicious in iced tea. Of course, in the beverage department, I can’t forget to mention the use of mint in cocktails like the Julep or Mojito.
Sometimes I chiffonade leaves and toss them with fresh sliced strawberries, peaches, or apricots drizzled with honey or agave syrup. Mint is a nice complement to watermelon, too.
And simply chewing mint leaves acts as a good digestive.
I don’t know if I’m finding more recipes with mint in them because I have lots of mint, so I am attracted to dishes that include it. Or is mint is just food-fashionable this year, and there are a plethora of recipes out there? Either way, after perusing a number of them, I came up with my own easy mint-centric dish.
Pasta with Mint, Edamame and Peas
6 – 8 oz. pasta (I use brown rice spaghetti. Choose your own favorite)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen, shelled edemame
1 cup frozen (or shelled fresh) petite peas
¼ cup dry white wine
Juice of ¼ large lemon
¼ cup chopped mint
2 T chopped chives
2 oz. grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta per directions. Drain.
In the meantime, heat butter and oil in a pan. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add edemame, peas and white wine. Cover pan and let simmer for 5 minutes or until edemame is tender.
Add drained pasta, lemon juice and half of the pecorino to the pan and toss. Add mint and chives. Toss.
Distribute to individual serving bowls and top with remaining cheese, adding more if desired. Serve
This dish is easy and tastes so fresh and summery. Honestly, when I make it I forget that I currently live in an inferno, and then I am way less grumpy.
Eat well. Be happy.