Mostarda di Frutta

We have a new favorite condiment for the meat we serve aboard Poseidon — Mostarda di Frutta.  John tasted it for the first time a couple of years ago when we were in Napa for our Birthday/Anniversary celebration.  We had dinner at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Restaurant and John ordered “Confit of Half Duck Mostarda di Frutta with Pannetone Bread Pudding and Red Wine Duck Jus.  (And if you’re interested, the dish was paired with 2007 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir). It was a great dish but John was most impressed with the Mostarda di Frutta.

When we were back home I found a source online and ordered an Italian imported Mostarda.  What I received was a pear jelly with a little mustard, nothing like the chunky, fruity Mostarda John had in Napa.  I put making my own Mostarda on my to-do list but somehow never got around to it until our recent cruise out to Catalina Island.  I researched a few recipes – a magazine article in Saveuer Magazine, Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Cookbook and Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano Cookbook — and came up with my version.  That is the beauty of this dish, you can use pretty much any fruits that are your favorites.  It is traditionally made with either fresh apples and/or fresh pears, any combination of dried fruits (almost always dried cherries and then your choice of figs, apricots, cranberries, golden raisins), sugar, mustard seeds, mustard, red pepper flakes and water or wine. All the ingredients are simmered together for about 45 minutes and then cooled.


So easy and so delicious!! I served it the first time with Grilled Veal Chops and several days later we had it with a Grilled Skirt Steak – both perfect with the Mostarda.  I’m telling you the combination of the fruit and mustard is so amazing you just have to try it!!


What you’ll need:
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½” cubes
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried apricots, cut into 4 pieces
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Juice from ½ lemon
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cups water
Salt to taste

What you need to do:
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes.  Give it a stir every now and then.  Let cool. Serve with grilled meat, salumi, or whatever strikes your fancy.  We could eat it straight out of the bowl by the spoonful!

John’s Wine Pairing:

At anchor at Catalina John paired a 2010 Domain Laetitia Pinot Noir with our Grilled Veal Chops, Mostarda di Frutta and Sauteed Swiss Chard. A perfect evening!