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8 mint recipes for refreshing and flavorful meals

(Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

When I think of mint, I think of summers spent running around my grandparents’ backyard, grass tickling bare feet as I chased my little cousins (or, rather, they chased me). On the patio table there was an ever-present jug of freshly made lemonade, not too sweet and always infused with fresh mint. Something about the addition of the herb transformed what was an otherwise plain beverage into something special.

To me, mint is the quintessential summer herb. It cools, it refreshes, it enlivens. If mint is overtaking your garden, as it tends to do, try it in these sweet and savory recipes from our Recipe Finder.

Crispy Chickpeas With Fried Shallots and Cilantro-Mint Chutney, above. Liven up the dinner table with this delicious chickpea dish featuring a bright, minty sauce. This satisfying vegetarian main can also be made plant-based by using vegan yogurt.

Beans are good for the planet, for you and for your dinner table. Here’s how to cook them right.

Fresh Pasta With Artichokes, Asparagus and Lemon-Mint Ricotta. Fresh flavors are abundant in this pasta dish. Store-bought fresh pasta works like a charm here, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you could always make your own.

Basic pasta dough recipe

Mint Julep. You don’t have to wait for the Kentucky Derby to enjoy this classic cocktail from the South. Muddled mint leaves and simple syrup add an herbal sweetness to the bourbon-based drink. Serving in a silver julep cup is fun, but optional.

Sheet Pan Salmon With Minty Peas, Oranges and Fennel. This one-pan meal is a lifesaver on busy weeknights without sacrificing taste. The use of frozen peas means this zesty dish can be enjoyed year round.

Sheet-pan suppers are the easy and adaptable way to get dinner on the table fast

Cashew Mint Dressing. This dressing gets its creaminess from the cashews rather than dairy or eggs. Pair with crudité for a beautiful, earthy green appetizer.

Salad dressings 101: Two formulas to get your ideal flavor every time

Melon Salad With Chiles and Mint. This is fruit salad with a zing. You can turn up the heat by including the seeds and ribs of the chiles.

How to take your fruit salad from boring to brilliant

Pea, Ricotta and Mint Gazpacho. A creamy, green take on a classic. Mint makes this chilled soup even cooler.

5 cold soups for sweltering summer days

Minty Lemon Soda. This DIY soda is an effervescent twist on my favorite mint lemonade.