The ancient Greek myths say that mint is named after the nymph Minthe, daughter of Cocytus and favourite of Pluto. Annoyed and jealous Prosperine, Pluto’s wife, metamorphosed her into the herb called after her:
Could Pluto’s queen, with jealous fury storm
And Minthe to a fragrant herb transform?
What more appropriate herb to have found the other day at Poseidonia (modern-day Paestum)!
Mint sauce – Ingredients: a bunch of mint, 1 teaspoon sugar, 4 tablespoons vinegar.
Wash the mint and strip off the leaves. Chop finely, then pound with a pestle and mortar with the sugar. Leave for 30 minutes, then mix with the vinegar and serve. Mint sauce is lovely with lamb. Another idea is to simply simply insert small bunches of fresh mint into a leg of lamb before cooking.
Also deliscious on freshly cooked and cooled string beans. Add lemon and oil.