Mint sauce, in British and Irish cuisine, is a green sauce made from finely chopped spearmint (Mentha spicata) leaves soaked in vinegar, and a small amount of sugar. Lime juice is sometimes added. The sauce has the consistency of double cream. It is often served as a condiment for roast lamb, or any other roast meats, or, in some areas, mushy peas. It is normally bought ready-made, and is easy to find in British food shops. Mint jelly, thicker and sweeter, is an alternative for lamb, also normally bought ready-made.
Mint chutney is a mint based sauce which is served with Indian snacks and breakfast items like Idly, Dhokla, etc. It is made with ground fresh mint leaves with a variety of ingredients like cilantro, green chili, lemon juice (in the northern parts of India) or tamarind (in southern India), salt, fried bengal gram and optionally curd.
Similar herb-based green sauces were common throughout Medieval Europe, with the use of mint being more common in French and Italian cuisine of the period than that of the English; however, they became less common and mostly died out as Europe entered the Modern Era.
In Tunisia a similar sauce is made out of dried mint and can be served with a méchoui, a mulukhiyah or as a base for a vinaigrette. Dried and fresh mint are also part of several dishes of Tunisian cuisine.
Mint sauces may include fruits in their preparation, such as raspberries.
- "Mint - Cultivation and Uses". Retrieved 2 April 2014.
Spearmint: flavor stronger and less sweet than peppermint. The curly variety is very ornamental. Used to make traditional mint sauce for lamb.
- "BBC Mint recipes".
There are many different species of mint, but the one used most widely in Western cooking is spearmint, native to the Mediterranean and widely cultivated in the UK. It can be ground into mint sauce or jelly - the ultimate accompaniment to roast lamb. Peppermint has dark green leaves and is used to flavour ice cream, sweets and confectionary.
- "Mentha spicata 'English Lamb'".
Mentha spicata ‘English Lamb’ is a particularly good cultivar, with sweet-tasting leaves with a strong mint fragrance. Its perfect for using in soups, salads and drinks, and of course traditional mint sauces, used to accompany roast lamb dishes.
- "History of Mint – Folklore & Medicine".
"The mint sauces and jellies that usually accompany lamb dishes are made of the milder-flavored spearmint.
- "Mint, Spearmint aka Garden Mint (Mentha spicata)".
"Mint, Spearmint aka Garden Mint – Mentha spicata is also known as Garden Mint or Green Mint ... This is the classic culinary mint for mint sauce and new potatoes.
- The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy by Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, Silvano Serventi, translated by Edward Schneider, University of Chicago Press, 2000, ISBN 0-226-70685-0, ISBN 978-0-226-70685-6, page 107
- Medieval Food Archived 2009-08-15 at the Wayback Machine
- Cooking in Europe, 1250-1650 by Ken Albala, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 ISBN 0-313-33096-4, ISBN 978-0-313-33096-4, page 15
- Rosso, Julee (1985). The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook. Workman Publishing. p. 185. ISBN 0894808311. Retrieved 6 September 2014.