spice it up

RSVP Endurance Gray Marble Mortar and Pestle
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RSVP Endurance Gray Marble Mortar and Pestle
cuisinart spice and nut grinder
Los Poblanos Culinary Lavendar
Savory Spice Shop Meat and Seafood Rubs
Indian Curries 4 jar gift pack
Bérard Olivewood Salt Keeper
Trudeau Graviti Electric Salt and Pepper Mills

kitchen essentials that make cooking more flavorful—and fun!

by Amy Gross

A kitchen can be tricked out with the most technologically advanced appliances and the fanciest cookware, but cooking starts and ends with quality ingredients and proper seasonings. How does your pantry stack up with respect to the basics: salts, peppers, spices, herbs, and oils? Here are a few flavor enhancers to add to your collection, along with items that will help you make the most of them.

RSVP Endurance Gray Marble Mortar & Pestle
Mortars (bowls) and pestles (clubs) have been used for centuries to grind spices and herbs into powders and mix substances into pastes. This lovely marble set is ergonomically sized for easy handling and will quickly become a must-have item in your kitchen. The marble’s color composition and veining will vary.
$20, Las Cosas Kitchen Shoppe, lascosascooking.com

Los Poblanos Culinary Lavender
Organically grown Royal Velvet lavender buds from Los Poblanos’ gardens in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque make a wonderful addition to baked goods, syrups, meats, and even ice cream. The 9 gram weck jar shown here will keep your kitchen stocked for a long time; a little lavender goes a long way! Never used culinary lavender before? Try Los Poblanos’ culinary lavender in our recipe for Lemon Lavender Scones on page 76.
$12, Los Poblanos Historic
Inn & Organic Farm, lospoblanos.com

Cuisinart Spice & Nut Grinder
Pulverizing nuts and spices has never been easier, thanks to this compact but powerful grinder. Just press on the lid and within seconds up to a half cup of nuts or spices will be ground into your desired consistency. Store whatever you’re not using right away in the grinding bowl using the handy and airtight plastic lid.
$40, Williams-Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com

Bérard Olivewood Salt Keeper
Looking for a meaningful housewarming or wedding gift? This lovely salt keeper, carved from oiled, richly grained olivewood, holds up to 8 ounces of cooking salt within close reach. The swiveling magnetic lid lets you grab a pinch of salt using just one hand. For an extra special gift and lasting heirloom, have the keeper engraved with a single- or triple-digit monogram.
$50, Williams-Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com

Savory Spice Shop Meat and Seafood Rubs
Move over marinades; spice rubs are the way to go for grilled and roasted meats and seafoods. The trio shown here includes Asian Delight BBQ Rub, a sweeter blend with notes of cinnamon and cloves; Pike’s Peak Butcher’s Rub, a classic combination of aromatics perfect for pot roast and grilled chicken; and Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning, a smoky, heady blend of paprikas and garlic that will elevate your grilling to new heights. These spice blends—and hundreds of others—qualify for Savory Spice Shop’s reward program, and they ship all over the world. Try the Asian Delight BBQ Rub in our recipe for Orange Balsamic Salmon Salad, page 76.
$6.70–$6.95, Savory Spice Shop, savoryspiceshop.com

Trudeau Graviti Electric Salt & Pepper Mills
As elegant and eye-catching as they are ultra-functional, these stunning cylindrical salt and pepper grinders are battery-operated. Simply flip the mill over and with one flick of the wrist, the grinding begins. Flip it back upright, and the grinding stops. Look Ma, one hand! Made of stainless steel in a gleaming copper finish.
$45 each, $90 for the set, Williams-Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com

Penzey’s 
Indian Curries 4 Jar Gift Pack
Don’t be intimidated by Indian cooking; the famously spice-forward cuisine is really one of the easiest (and most comforting!) to create. Bursting with flavor, each 2.1-ounce jar in Penzey’s gift pack offers a great starter for learning Indian cooking or expanding your knowledge. Includes Balti Seasoning, Garam Masala, Maharaja Curry Powder, 
and Tandoori Seasoning.
$46, Penzey’s, penzeys.com