Both my mother and brother, excellent cooks both of them, own a mortar/pestle set. Huge stone bowls with hefty pestles—these sit prominently on the counter in their respective kitchens, mostly used for grinding fresh pepper. I, however, remained unconvinced of the value of this kitchen tool. More to the point, I just didn’t have the countertop real-estate to devote to it.
Until I found this while shopping at a lovely shop at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market in San Francisco called The Gardener. Designed by Pascal Charmolu for the Swedish housewares company Sagaform, the Edge mortar and pestle is the essence of simplicity: a hollowed-out square of oak and a ball of pressed stoneware. The mortar is about 5 inches square, and the pestle is sized perfectly to fit the palm of my hand. It sits quietly on my kitchen counter, waiting for a handful of mixed peppercorns or spices; I can’t wait to use it next summer to make pesto. Want one, too? Contact The Gardener to order.