In my continuing quest to fill my kitchen with ridiculously heavy tools that have been used for hundreds of years, I recently purchased a molcajete (a Mexican version of a mortar and pestle). It’s a piece of solid basalt which is extremely heavy and porous; this means it needed quite a bit of work to get it ready.
When you buy the molcajete, it’s still really rough on the inside, which means that small bits of rock/sand chip off when you first use it. So, before I could use it, I had to go through a lengthy seasoning process of grinding rice and salt into powder to get all the sand out.
After a few weeks of grinding, it’s ready for action and the first thing to be made was a super yummy cilantro and spinach pesto. Even after the seasoning process, the inside is really rough which just destroys the herbs. It goes surprisingly quick and really mashes them up–perfect for pesto! If you don’t have a molcajete, a blender or food processor will be fine for this recipe. I didn’t add cheese into mine, but parmesan or romano would be delicious.
- 1 bunch cilantro
- ~1 cup spinach
- 3 cloves garlic
- a few glugs of good olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- Splash of lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Grind up all the ingredients until a spreadable paste develops. Serve over pasta, use as a sandwich spread, or sauce over meat. Can also be frozen (great if your herbs are about to go bad). Simple and delicious.