What’s the most Italian herb?

According to Chris Cosentino, it’s mint.

Chris is best-known for his artistry with organ meats (which, I confess, I love), but in his most recent blog post, he offers up a laundry list of ideas for mixing more mint into your meals:

> * In Piedmont, fresh mint is added to agliata — a mortar and pestle mix of garlic, olive oil, mint, basil and lemon juice. This agliata verde is mixed into fresh cheese, spread on crostini, or tossed into hot pasta.
> * In Sicily, minced mint is added along with parsley and basil to caponata, and contributes color and flavor to salads with fennel, olive and blood oranges. And don’t forget my Sicilian-style Baked Cod!
> * In Tuscany, mint is used in the tomato and bread salad panzanella, tames the assertive flavor of tripe, and brightens wild rabbit and boar ragus. After dinner, it is tossed with sugar and fresh frutti di bosco, or woodland berries.
> * In Friuli-Venezia Giulia, mint is combined with Montasio cheese in a sauce for polenta or fresh pasta. Mint is also stirred into side dishes, or contorni, of grains, like barley and risotto with wild mushrooms and other mountain herbs.

The best thing about mint is that it grows like a freaking weed. Chris’ full post has many more ideas. Read it and drool. And then cook, because Michael Pollan says we’re quickly forgetting how.

Or skip the cooking, and just make a virtual meal on your Nintendo Wii.

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  1. Erin - August 5, 2009

    More on meat from terrapass. Don’t drive a gas hog, but it’s okay to eat meat, “the single most significant factor contributing to the destruction of the planet.”
    http://www.waitingforthestorm.com/en/meat-industry-statistics-environmental-impact-meat
    I guess if it’s not your personal cause celebre you just don’t care.
    The least you could do is promote local, sustainable family farmed meat rather than that produced by commercial giants in the vein of Smithfield. Open your eyes http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12840743/porks_dirty_secret_the_nations_top_hog_producer_is_also_one_of_americas_worst_polluters/1

  2. Adam Stein - August 5, 2009

    Erin, I’ve written probably dozens of articles here describing the environmental consequences of meat and offering tips and recipes for lowering meat consumption. My view is that people don’t need me to tell them whether it’s okay to eat meat — they make that determination for themselves — but I can at least provide some useful information for people who want to reduce their impact.
    I’d also note that almost all of the recipes excerpted in the post above are vegetarian. The few that aren’t involve environmentally benign meats like wild rabbit or boar. (OK, tripe maybe isn’t environmentally benign, but for better or worse I doubt very much our readership is whipping up big bowls of minty tripe for dinner tonight.)

  3. Tony Adams - August 5, 2009

    People do need to hear that it is not ok to eat meat. People make their own determinations for themselves about everything. Why should wrecking the planet by eating meat be treated any differently than wrecking the planet by driving a Hummer?

  4. curmudgeon - August 5, 2009

    . . . I’m already growing mint in the yard … head scratch … oh! your article has given me an idea, think I’ll go shoot me a javalina so I have something to put under my herb coulis.
    Tongue out of cheek and savoring food, mint is one of my favorite seasonings for tabbouleh, iced tea and in salads.

  5. Vegan Bores Are Boring - August 5, 2009

    Not the Vegan Food Police again. We evolved to eat meat — and the substitutes (such as soy) that people use to get proper proteins are much more problematic. Keep cattle eating grass rather than grain and it’s not an issue.

  6. Tony Adams - August 6, 2009

    We are not here to entertain you, so if you find this discussion boring, then by all means feel free to move on.
    The evolution argument can be used to justify anything: our brains and oppose-able thumbs allowed us to build nuclear weapons, so clearly we evolved to destroy each other?

  7. Lauryn - August 12, 2009

    Dimwit. The evolution argument is for adaptations that apply to one particular act, like eating (grass-fed, sustainably-raised) meat. I supposed your thumbs have evolved for the sole purpose of building nuclear warheads? Sounds doubtful. Why don’t you find something productive to do like lobbying your members of Congress to pass laws outlawing preventative antibiotic use in cattle, which would effectively end CAFOs? There’s a name for people who waste their time stirring up stupid arguments on blogs…

  8. Tony Adams - August 12, 2009

    We would not need to waste time lobbying Congress to pass laws outlawing the misuse of drugs in cattle if we’d just stop eating meat. Presumably this would also stop CAFO also.
    Here is a proposal: you waste your time how you see fit, justifying killing animals for your selfish pleasure, or whatever, and I’ll waste my time how I see fit. Deal?

  9. magnesium - November 15, 2009

    I have read the article based on the Italian herbs.Herbs are good for maintains the prospects of the health wellness.I like post very much as it contain informative knowledge regarding the Italian herbs and its usefulness.I know that mint is combined with Montasio cheese in a sauce for polenta or fresh pasta. Mint is also stirred into side dishes, or contorni, of grains, like barley and risotto with wild mushrooms and other mountain herbs.I want to know suggestion regarding different types of the herbs and their effectiveness.I want to know suggestion from others.