If you’ve ever grown mint before then you know that once it starts growing it takes off like a weed. When it was overgrowing the pallet planter box it was in I decided it was time to take action and put it to good use in some recipes. Aside from mojitos and garnishing my other favorite cocktails I never utilized mint as the starring hero in my recipes, especially not in savory dishes. That all changed last week!
We planned a homemade pizza night with family and while my brother whipped up traditional sausage and veggie pizzas I pushed everyone out of their comfort zone by providing my take on a Mediterranean chicken pizza. The mint pesto I made as the base of the pizza is what really brought out the flavor in the rest of the ingredients. The mint wasn’t overpowering in flavor and provided more of a fresh garden flavor than a sweet minty flavor. Toss some fresh garlic, green onion scapes, and parsley into the mix for some zest. Then give it a squeeze of lemon for a lightened citrusy finish making this pesto perfect for your summer pizzas and dips.
(makes 4oz or a 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley
2 stalks of green onion, sliced
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 tsp paprika
A pinch of cayenne pepper
2-3 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Add garlic cloves to a food processor and puree until minced. Next add mint, parsley, green onion, lemon juice and spices. Process until mixture becomes a paste. With the food processor still running, add olive oil through the feed tube and process until completely mixed. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides using a rubber spatula, season with salt and pepper, and process for another 10 seconds to mix.
Use right away or transfer into a sealing container. Push air out with the back of a spoon and level out the top. Pour olive oil over the top until it just covers the surface. This will help keep your pesto fresh and green. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Add it to sauces, dips, soups, or use as a green sauce for pizza. Pesto will keep for about 2 weeks. Add more olive oil after each use.