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What do *you* use your mortar and pestle for?

Ok, I just purchased a gorgeous granite mortar and pestle. I know that I need to grind some raw rice first to get all of the residual granite dust out. I plan on using it to grind peppercorns and other whole spices for rubs, pastes, etc. I know you can also make up some good basil pesto in it. What else do you do with yours?? This is 7" in diameter and around 12 lbs, so instead of taking it in and out of my cabinet, I'm planning on leaving it on the counter. So I would love to find as many uses for it as possible :)

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  1. I don't have a granit one, mine is brass and belonged to my great granmother....
    We use it to pulverize nuts into a meal consistency. We also use it to turn matzo into matzo meal.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      Hey, so I could make almond meal at home...great idea!! Thank you :)

      1. re: nutmegananne

        You can also easily do it in a food processor.

      1. I have three different ones but definitely love my huge 17 lb granite M&P best. I, too, use it for all kinds of pesto (arugula, basil, mint, rosemary, pumpkin seed, sundried tomato); sauces; grinding spices. I also use it for aioli, making mustard and so on.

        Mine sits out on the counter as I use it so often. I practically treat it like a child! :-P

        1. I use mine most often to pound garlic and spices. I have two, a marble medium sized one which I'm always grabbing and a larger one I lugged home from South America with a wooden pestle that is really like a piece of art to me. It doesn't get as much use, but it works hard sitting there looking pretty, with bay leaves and garlic and thyme sitting in its generous bowl.
          I also will pound cardamom and lavender when I'm making sweets, and I keep thinking I should buy another one and designate it for pastry. So far the garlic smell hasn't stuck, but I'm sure one neglectful washing will tarnish a batch of caramels.
          I love using the m&p. So satisfying.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rabaja

            pumpkin seed pesto sounds amazing...

            1. re: nutmegananne

              It is incredible. You grind pumpkin seeds and use pumpkin seed oil instead of olive oil. The rest if the same as traditional basil pesto.

              1. re: chefathome

                Pumpkin seed pesto .... mmmm. THANK you for posting this. I'll pick up some pumpkin oil this weekend - that sounds just GREAT.

                I've always wanted a mortar and pestle but have just never got around to it. And yes, there are times when I'm making my own curry that I wish that I did have one!

                I think for me that I'd rather have a small dedicated spice grinder. Either one of those inexpensive blade models or perhaps one of those new designs for manual grinding - they are often listen as pollen grinders and are readily available in metal for only $10-15.

          2. I collect them and now have 14 ranging from a 18 lb monster from the Philippines to a tiny porcelain number that was used to pulverize pills. My favorites are used constantly to make pastes,crush herbs,seeds and dry seasonings.I have one I use just to crush Alka Seltzer tablets.

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