Spouse driving you crazy? Kids? How ’bout this unwinnable war, you know: the one that now costs us OVER $12Billion a month?
NO, I am not talking about the knives. The mortar and pestle! Get them out, get some garlic and some green herbs, and salt, and get POUNDING. Take it from me: it is therapeutic, and oh so tasty.
This lovely pistou went on some spuds last night.
What, you don’t have these things growing in your back yard? Well, if you have a particular seller you like at your farmer’s market, and you don’t see these things, just ask them. Almost all growers have these things for their own use: if you ask nicely, they’ll bring you some next week. Believe me, farmer’s market folks would love to expand their markets, and with more choice, we’ll all benefit!
So get pounding.
I made a large batch of pesto about a week ago and decimated my basil plants. They seem to be regenerating. For the next time around, is there a right way to harvest the leaves? I.e. take them from the bottom? pinch off the top? remove branches? Some of my bushes are getting flowers on the tops already. What do I do with those?
It’s best to pinch from the top so they DON’T start flowering. Like lettuce, once they start going to seed, their taste changes. Pinching out from the top keeps them bushy: if you pinch right above a little set of leaves, it will branch out, making more for you later.
You can mash up the flowers, too, though.
But if you have entirely too much, as I will probably have in a month, you can puree it in a food processor and then freeze the mash in icecube trays. I keep a bag of the cubes on hand to add to soups in the winter: yum.
Your tags were food and “sweat!” Hilarious.
I never throught of these tools as therapeutic, but I can see it. I often “process” my garlic in mine.
William Sonoma has some nicely decorative ones you can leave right on the kitchen counter.
I like to buy these from local farmers. moe room for me and helps them. Great post!
Any recommendations on a good mortar and pestle?
I was going to do a post on my mortar and pestle soon I love it so much! Such a great kitchen tool with lots of unexpected uses. Great post!
Robin, I had a hard time coming up with my categories, but “sweat,” around here anyway, is a great catchall.
Elizabeth, I agree: some things are better left to the professionals. The greenery in the mortar was Italian parsley, which, frankly, has great curb appeal in an ornamental bed…and fills in well between low flowers.
Dawn, the one you see in the pic is from Ikea. Cheap and big enough to do a lot of damage. I have two others that are more spice-oriented (i.e., small and pretty) but this is the one that gets most of the work. Williams-Sonoma, like Robin said, is a good but spendy source. Check Amazon too.
Ang, well, I just beat you to it is all!