Yesterday afternoon was hot and humid, and I spent a good deal of it working in the garden or trying to convince Søren not to run into the middle of the street. I also removed most of a giant mint plant that was sneaking around the garden bed and strangling my other herbs in a minty, refreshing chokehold of death. The result of my hard work? A tamed and respectful mint plant and armloads of pungent leaves. I called Huzzybee, “pick up some bourbon on the way home, because we’re having Kentucky Derby night!” Then I ran into the house and whipped up a batch of fried chicken.
Hours later, as I stumbled into bed, I asked Huzzybee if he knew how to make a mint julep, because what he served me seemed a bit strong.
If your fancy doesn’t run towards Saturday hangovers, here is another recipe I crafted as a way to eat into my superabundance of mint. It’s a nice salad to serve as a side, or a refreshing and light post-workout snack.
Refreshing Forbidden Rice Salad
1 cup of black rice
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped small
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (or any kind of tomato, as long as it is ripe and sweet)
3 scallions, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
1/2 sweet bell pepper, diced (optional)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
To cook the rice, soak it first for about 20 minutes in cold water, then rinse and drain. Bring the 1 cup rice to a boil in 2 cups of water. Cover it and let it boil for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn down to a simmer. Leave it alone for 30 minutes and prepare the other veggies. When the rice is cooked, set it aside or chill in the refrigerator until it is completely cool (note, if you spread it out on a plate and put it in the fridge it will cool faster). Add the diced vegetables, mint, olive oil and lemon juice, then salt and pepper to taste.