Mortar and Pestle- the daily grind
The mortar and pestle is an old style kitchen ‘gadget’. Has it sat in your kitchen cupboard gathering dust or were you given it as a foodie gift? Now is the time to rejuvenate this simple kitchen tool and revitilize your cooking skills.
The mortar and pestle has so many uses in the kitchen, such as:
Garlic cloves – ideal for pesto
Vanilla pods – add to custard, cakes, biscuits
Ginger – use in herbal teas
Chilli flakes – casseroles
Aromatic seeds – cumin, coriander (ideal for curries)
All nuts – pesto,dukkah, salads
Herbs- lavender, rosemary – baking and soups
Avocado and tomato – soft ingredients for salsa
Spices – star anise, cinnamon – mulled wine and baking
The list is virtually endless!
Purists have differing views on whether a marble mortar or a beautifully carved wooden set is better. This is your preference. I have always favoured one made from marble, which has a more abrasive unglazed surface and therefore makes it easier to grind both dry and moist ingredients.
Take the plunge and ignore your complicated kitchen gadgets on the bench and choose a more rustic approach.
Below is a simple recipe for you to enjoy – easy and long-lasting with so many different uses.
Dukkah Mix Recipe
Your choice of nuts
½ cup flaked almonds
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup walnuts
½ cup sesame seeds
½ tsp paprika
Extra virgin olive oil
Place nuts in a heavy-based frying pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Gently heat the frying pan then add the hard nuts first, stirring gently until you release the oils.
Stir in softer nuts.
Add paprika, sea salt and black pepper.
Stir gently with spatula making sure not to burn the nuts.
Remove from heat to cool.
Place all ingredients in mortar and pestle and release your grinding skills. Create a great workout for your wrist and arm muscles.
This nut recipe is ideal to sprinkle on salads and avocado on toast, or serve with olive oil and toasted pittas. Long-lasting when stored in a tight-fitting container.
Embrace the the grind and dust off your mortar and pestle.
Image of Mortar and Pestle supplied by Tiree Marble Jewellery.