This cherished (Sicilian) Italian condiment has many faces, made with fruit, (fresh, dried or candied) sugary syrup, wine and the essence of mustard, it is quite versatile. The specialty dish, Bollito Mistro in northern Italy, traditionally served mustarda along side this hearty stew (similar to the French Pot-au-feu) as a celebration dish in the fall and winter. It has gained popularity and made its way as an accompaniment on charcuterie, crusty breads, cheese boards, spooned over creamy polenta and it is equally delicious, crowned on poultry, game and fish. It even adds a depth of savory piquancy and sweet flavor as a quick pan sauce or poured over ice cream. Our favorite way to enjoy mostarda is to add it to a grilled salami and gruyere cheese sandwich, the mostarda just adds a richness and a spicy-sugary balance to the saltiness of the cheese and salami. Yum!
• 1/2 cup dried apricots
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup dried figs
• 1/2 cup dried cherries
• 1 shallot, minced
• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 firm Bartlett pears, cubed
• 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds
• 1 tablespoon mustard powder
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Place the dried fruits, shallot, ginger, wine and honey in a medium saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add pears, mustard seed and mustard powder and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. (pears should soften but still hold shape)
3. Season with red pepper flake, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. We like our mustarda chunky here at MDF but if you prefer a thinner consistency you can puree part half the mixture and then mix for a medium chunk or puree the entire batch for a jam like consistency.
5. Let the mustarda cool, place in a sealed container and store in the refrigerator.
This acclaimed quintessential Argentinean sauce, chimichurri compliments grilled meats perfectly and is a crowd pleaser you should try for your next summertime gathering. This fairly spicy sauce is bright, fresh and herbaceous with a garlicky, tangy punch. Made of parsley, oregano, garlic, shallots, vinegar, fresh lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and olive oil, this sauce really needs time to meld all of the flavors together, so make a day or two ahead of time, before you serve it. Not only can you present this table side but if you don’t have the extra time to make it ahead, it also makes a easy and quick (that day) marinade for vegetable kabobs, beef, lamb, poultry, fish and will really pop and heighten the flavor.
Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce
• 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
• 5 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
• 1 shallot
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Place all chimichurri sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well chopped, but not pureed.
2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Plus it makes an incredible cheeseburger topping. Try adding it to soups, stews and rice dishes, as well.
MODERN DAY FORAGER