Mint or Nana
Mint is widely used as a herb in cooking as well as for medicinal purposes.
It has a clean, fresh aroma, which has been used as a mouth cleanser for a long time, but as it also aids digestion, it is commonly served in Israel after dinner, not only to cleanse the palate but also to draw on its soothing properties after a meal.
Although there are many varieties of Mint, it is the spearmint that is most commonly grown and used in Middle Eastern cooking, such as in tabbouleh, Israeli salads, both with fruits and vegetables as well as in most recipes for kibbeh.
Mint is also used for the newly created Israeli summer drink, Limonana. A blend of mint, lemon juice, sugar and plenty of ice to create a long, refreshing drink.....perfect for the hot days of summer.
Tea with 'nana' is not the typical cup of English tea, it is simply boiled water in a glass mug or cup with fresh mint and sometimes a piece of lemon. Israeli's will often leave a tea bag by the side of the cup, but invariably, it is left there on the side, having not been touched.
recipe for cauliflower couscous with roasted butternut squash, toasted almonds & mint
1 x butternut squash
1 x medium cauliflower
handful of almonds (with skin on)
1 x lemon, zest & juice
a large bunch of coriander
a large bunch of mint & pomegranate kernels to serve
pre heat oven to 220C/GM7, cut the butternut squash into even sized chunks, toss in olive oil, season with salt & pepper & roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender & golden
pulse cauliflower in food processor, until fine couscous sized pieces, toss in a tablespoon of olive oil & season with salt & peppers & place on a tray in oven for 8-10 minutes until warmed through
toast the almond for 8 minutes in the oven or in a pan, with a tablespoon of olive oil
mix together the finely chopped coriander with the lemon zest & juice & mix into the cauliflower couscous
Add the roasted squash & toasted almonds to the cauliflower & finish of with pomegranate kernels &