How I Cook: Anne's Vinaigrette Technique & Why She Loves Her Mortar and Pestle

Kitchen Tour

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Yesterday we explored Anne's gorgeous rental kitchen, with its packed pantry and pretty details. Today we're getting a personal look at Anne's cooking style, including a few of her favorite tools and her special way of making a homemade vinaigrette.

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Anne is an avid home cook and entertainer. She'll throw dinner parties for friends at a moment's glance and is often hired as a food or prop stylist for events in and around Oregon, California and New York. It follows then that her favorite tools in her own kitchen are functional and beautiful. Here's what Anne has to say about her sweet spoon collection, seen above:

At some point my friends and family were clued into my collection of wooden spoons, and that they're always my most cherished souvenirs. I have a few tiny ones that I use in my salt dishes that I got in Japan, another small one that my dad got for me in Hong Kong, a wooden spreading knife an old coworker friend got for me in Sweden, a long stirring wooden spoon from another friend in Haiti, and many more. I like a spoon with a story.

Another must-have tool? A mortar and pestle. For years Anne's mortar and pestle sat on a shelf, until she encountered Heidi Swanson's Raw Tuscan Kale Salad. The directions were to crush the garlic instead of chop, and Anne has been a mortar and pestle convert ever since. In her words:

I've pounded lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and fish sauce to create a perfect Thai paste to top white fish. Now I own three different mortar and pestles and use them on a daily basis!

If that's not a case to break out my own dusty mortar and pestle, I'm not sure what is!

Lastly, Anne can be found whisking vinaigrettes for salads almost every day. Her technique is to crush garlic, add oil and vinegar directly to the salad bowl, and then emulsify to perfection, a technique she picked up as a child from a family friend. (She loved salads even as a kid because the dressing was so tasty!)

Thanks for sharing, Anne!

Visit Anne's website → Made by Anne Parker

(Image credits: Leela Cyd)