New spring potatoes are deliciously in season now, but the shining star in this recipe is mint.
Even if you have a black thumb, you can grow this versatile herb. A small pot of mint on any sunny windowsill is almost impossible to kill. In fact, if you do happen to have a little plot of garden soil, do not plant mint; it will take over your garden like a weed. Always plant mint in a container.
Fresh mint is magic in the kitchen. You can:
- Toss whole or torn leaves into salads
- Pair it with peas for a classic combo; serve mixed into brown rice
- Make Vietnamese noodles or a banh mi sandwich with fish sauce and mint
- Flavor your water without added sugar or artificial sweeteners
Or make this 5-Minute Mint Pesto. It comes together in no time and perks up new spring potatoes, pasta, turkey sandwiches and even scrambled eggs. I like my pesto chunky, so this recipe uses less oil than most — and lots of herbs. Mint is a powerhouse of flavor, so it’s balanced by quite a lot of fresh parsley and tangy, salty Parmesan cheese.
And when it comes to nutrition, the general rule about leafy green plants is this: The more flavor, the more antioxidants. Powerfully potent or bitter flavor compounds in plants are part of their defense system from predators; these bold compounds are in the form of strong plant-based antioxidants. (Antioxidants help strengthen the human immune system.) Think boldly flavored Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, arugula, and strong herbs like mint. Bottom line: Potent plants contain potent antioxidants. So try growing or buying fresh mint; you’ll be adding flavor and antioxidants to your meals.
New Potatoes with 5-Minute Mint Pesto
Makes about 8 servings
2 1/2 pounds small golden- or red-skinned potatoes
1 cup fresh mint leaves
3 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- If potatoes are larger than about 1 inch in diameter, cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes. (Do not peel.) Place in a medium pot. Add cold water to cover; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook 12 minutes or until barely fork-tender. Drain water.
- Meanwhile, place mint, parsley, garlic, pistachios, oil and salt in food processor; process until finely minced. Place in a large bowl. Stir in cheese until blended.
- Toss pesto with warm or room-temperature potatoes.
- Very lightly pack herbs into measuring cups (otherwise the proportions will be slightly off). But the beauty of this pesto is that you can always add a bit more of a favorite ingredient.
- Do not overprocess the pesto; if you do, the color will be dull green instead of bright.
Per serving (1/8 of recipe): Calories 231; Fat 8 g (Saturated 2 g); Sodium 148 mg; Carbohydrate 32 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 2 g; Protein 7 g
Serena Ball, M.S., R.D., is a registered dietitian nutritionist. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com sharing tips and tricks to help readers find cooking shortcuts for making healthy, homemade meals. Her recipes are created with families in mind.
from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog http://ift.tt/1YBZaq3