Check out this suribachi (“grinding bowl”). It’s a Japanese-style mortar and pestle. Over the last year I have become a big fan of this piece of cooking equipment because the design is perfect for making pastes and pestos. Essentially it’s a ceramic bowl with an unglazed, textured inside. With a wooden pestle, you grind foods against the ridges inside the bowl. It’s similar to other tools you may know (a Mexican Molcajete, an Italian mortar and pestle made from marble, or a Indonesian style mortar and pestle made from basalt/volcanic rock), but those ridges make all the difference. You can make smooth, creamy pastes really efficiently. And like other mortar and pestles you can work with very small quantities which is handy and impossible with a food processor or mini chop. Continue reading
One of our favorites as far as pasta sauces go is summery, bright green pesto Genoevse (basil, garlic, pinenuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil). When we start to see cherry blossoms on the trees and get a whiff of spring in the air (like right about now….) I start counting down the days until we begin to find giant bunches of fragrant Italian basil at the farmer’s market. My kids have gotten past the aggressively green hue of pesto Genovese and happily scarf it up and I always keep a special, secret little hoard in the way back of my freezer just for me.
A few spring things we’re loving right now….. What’s giving you spring fever?
These "sumo" citrus are seedless, incredibly easy to peel, and super super sweet, with just a whisper of a membrane around each segment. Heaven in a peel!
Basil pesto tastes best when made barefoot on a sunshiny day. Two secrets for keeping it gorgeously green: 1) blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, then plunge them into ice water and squeeze dry before blending your pesto 2) crush up a vitamin c tablet and blend it with your pesto, the citric acid will keep the basil from oxidizing.
Sweet and zippy, we love to celebrate the season with tender spring onions.
Nothing gives you that springtime feeling like feeding a baby goat. You can visit this little guy at Harley Farm in Pescadero.