Ryan’s dad likes mint sauce on pretty much anything. I grew up in a “mint sauce with roast lamb” household, so I found this slightly odd. In truth I have never cottoned on to the delights of mint sauce, so we don’t keep a jar in the house. It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered that Ryan really likes mint sauce, too.
[Don’t like waffly food posts? You can skip straight to the recipe if you’d prefer.]
The earth-shattering discovery coincided with a need to trim the Space Mint. Space Mint is a spearmint plant I grew from a cutting in my space garden. I took the cutting on 17th September, and by 29th October Space Mint was growing strongly and hogging the LED light. A few fragrant snips later and Space Mint was back under control, and I had 29g of mint to play with. I decided to try making (for the first time) mint sauce. I settled on a recipe for ‘Easy Real British Mint Sauce‘, which looked simple but didn’t precisely match the finely-chopped mint sauces I have seen in the past.
So I made it and offered it up to Ryan with some trepidation since clearly he and his dad are experts and I am a novice in the art of making mint sauce. I needn’t have worried; Ryan confessed his dad ‘makes’ his sauce by adding more vinegar to a shop-bought one. [His dad later confirmed that although he grows his own mint, he only uses it for new potatoes, and doesn’t make his own mint sauce.]
My first effort was really quite roughly chopped because I was in a hurry. I served it with sausages, and Ryan proclaimed it quite wonderful. There was plenty left over, and as we also had some leftover steamed carrots, I combined the two. Chilled in the fridge, this gave us a lovely minted carrot salad for lunch the next day. It’s very much like a Japanese quick pickle, but using cooked carrots rather than raw.
Space Mint got a second harvest on 16th November, producing 37g of mint. I made another batch of mint sauce, this time slightly more finely chopped. And another batch of minty carrot salad.
Space Mint Carrot Salad
- A large bunch of fresh garden mint leaves
- 5 tbsp boiling water
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- Cooked carrots
- Remove the mint leaves from the stalks, and chop roughly or finely, according to preference.
- Put the chopped mint and sugar in a bowl, then add the boiling water. Cover the bowl and allow to cool.
- When the mint mixture is cool, stir in the vinegar and allow to steep for at least an hour.
- Add the mint sauce to cooked carrots – hot or cold – for a wonderfully aromatic side dish!