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I think of grocery store herb plant purchases as one use wonders. It seems like most of the plants I bring home die after a week or so because they just can’t adjust to their new life. I’m good at gardening, just usually not so good at keeping those little grocery store purchases alive! I should have known buying a mint plant would be different. Mint is…vigorous when planted outside, and has proved to be just as vigorous inside. I love mint, but I’m used to using it in beverage and desserts. The profusion of mint at home has forced me to branch out and create actual food items that use it, and this feta mint Israeli couscous salad is one of my favorite creations so far. The flavor is perfect for summer and it’s surprisingly easy to make.
Wouldn’t this be a fun side instead of the usual pasta salad at a summer cookout or picnic? Couscous is, after all, very small pasta!
I learned the “interactive way” that you need to let the couscous cool down for at least 10-15 minutes, preferably in the fridge, before adding the mint. If you throw the mint in right away, residual heat will cook it and it will turn dark green and limp. No bueno! The finished dish is much prettier if you chiffonade the mint, which is a fancy term for cutting it into ribbons. Just check below the recipe for a quick tutorial on how to do this!
For the feta, I recommend adding about 1/2 a cup first, stirring it in, and then adding more until you’re satisfied. If you like more or less than the full 3/4 cup I used, that’s totally okay.
“Chiffonade” may sound like an intimidating term, but it’s easy to accomplish. Just stack your mint leaves, roll them up, and then cut through the roll to form neat little strips.
What’s your favorite way to use mint?