Mint sauce is a sauce traditionally made from finely chopped peppermint (Mentha × piperita) leaves, soaked in vinegar, and a small amount of sugar. Occasionally, the juice from a squeezed lime is added. The sauce should have the consistency of double cream. In British and Irish cuisine it is traditionally used as a complement to roast lamb (but usually not other roast meats) or, in some areas, mushy peas.
Mint sauce can be used in some recipes in place of fresh mint. It can be eaten on toast or bread, and can be added to yogurt to make a mint raita. “Sweet and sour” sauces such as mint sauce 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.
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 60mls (1/4 cup) boiling water
- 125mls (1/2 cup) white wine vinegar
- Combine the mint and caster sugar in a small heat-resistant mixing bowl.
- Add the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the vinegar and mix well.
- Allow the sauce to stand for 15 minutes for the flavour to develop before serving in a sauce jug with a spoon.