The only herb that's also an adjective, mint deserves more than a cursory dip in your Pimm's. So don't leave it to run rampage in the garden, or wilt in a glass on the kitchen worktop - show it a good time with our recipes.
Five mint recipes from The Simple Things:
Chicken, preserved lemon and herb salad
Prepare 250g couscous with 400ml chicken stock, cover and leave for 5 minutes before fluffing up with a fork. Mix 3 roasted, torn chicken breasts, 2 chopped preserved lemons, 50g toasted flaked almonds, 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds, a packet of lightly crushed fresh coriander and a packet of roughly chopped fresh mint. Whisk 2 tbsp juice from the lemons with 2 tbsp oil and season, toss into salad and serve with couscous.
Cook 700g King Edward potatoes until tender. Meanwhile, poach 300g salmon and 2 eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes; leave to cool. Flake salmon; chop eggs. Mash potato and stir in salmon, eggs, a bunch of sliced spring onions, 10g dill, 1 tbsp chopped mint. Season. Mould into 8 cakes and chill for 30 minutes. Shallow-fry fish cakes until golden. Serve with a dip made from 200ml creme fraiche, 2 tbsp garlic mayonnaise and 10g dill.
Mint and cranberry smoothie
Place 600ml light cranberry juice, 100g fat-free Greek yoghurt, 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint and 1 tbsp clear honey in a large jug and blend with a hand blender. Pour into 2 tall glasses. Add a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries for even more zing.
Minty summer pudding
Cook 800g fresh berries, 25g caster sugar and 2 tbsp water for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving juice; cool. Stir in most of a packet of fresh mint. Dip 6 slices of white, crustless bread in juice (one side only), sprinkle with leftover mint and lay 5 in a bowl. Keep leftover juice. Fill bowl with fruit, top with final bread slice and fold edges over. Place a saucer on top then something heavy. Chill overnight. Turn out and serve with remaining juice and cream.
Thyme and mint pears with raspberry sauce
Combine 150g caster sugar and 500ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer until sugar dissolves. Trim bases of 4 ripe, peeled pears so they stand upright. Add them to syrup, along with 10g fresh thyme and 3 sprigs mint, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pears, discard herbs and reduce syrup by half (about 8 minutes). Add 300g raspberries and juice of half a lemon. Cook 1-2 minutes, blend, add thyme and serve with pears.
Image: Alice Hendy Photography