When I look at my herb garden on the deck, I can’t help but be saddened at the passing of summer. A few plants are still hearty, but others are slowly turning yellow and brown, soon to be a thing of the past. The heartiest by far is the mint. The mint struggled all summer to take over the garden. It just grew and grew, and spread and spread, no matter how much I pinched it back.
Trying desperately to use the mint, I’ve put it in every glass of ice tea, and garnished almost every dinner plate with it. I’ve mixed it in with berries, and even snuck some leaves in with the basil when making pesto. And I’ve definitely had way too many mojitos. I just can’t muddle another sprig of mint!
I’ve tried so hard to be creative with this mint, but I was running out of ideas. I made my swordfish with mint and balsamic vinegar recipe several times. My fried zucchini and mint recipe was made so often that it was starting to bore me. But please do check these recipes out in the archives. They really are delicious.
Then one day, as I was seasoning some lamb chops for grilling, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. They serve mint jelly (yuk!) with lamb, so why not some kind of mint “accouterment.” Mint pesto!! Of course! It would be delicious drizzled over the grilled chops, and maybe a little mixed in with pasta or rice as a side dish. I was so excited!
It was indeed delicious, and I now have a freezer full of mint pesto. I know I’ll be pulling out a container every time I make lamb all winter long, and wishing it was summer, with mint was growing wildly in my garden! I’ll probably miss those mojitos as well!
4..6…8 lamb chops (your choice), salt and peppered, finely chopped garlic and olive oil for marinade.
1 cup packed mint leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pignoli nuts (can use almonds or pistachios)
1/4 cup pecorino Romano grated cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
- Season your lamb with above suggestions, and let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Light grill or broiler.
- In food processor, put mint leaves, garlic and nuts. Grind until smooth.
- Add cheese, salt and pepper and lemon zest. Grind again.
- While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil through the tube, until smooth. You can add more oil should you want the pesto to be thinner.
- Grill or broil chops until desired doneness. Before serving, drizzle as much pesto as desired over the chops.
**You can also drizzle the pesto over whatever side dish you are serving….roasted potatoes, rice, pasta.