Mostarda has been showing up with some frequency on restaurant menus of late and after tasting it for the first time with a succulent grilled pork chop at Nel Centro a couple of years ago, I was smitten. It was LOVE at first bite.
Imagine fresh or dried fruit glazed in a sweet, tangy syrup with a subtle or not so subtle mustard kick. As good as that pork chop was, I could have eaten an entire plate of the mostarda.
Of course, I would need a creamy chevre or nutty white cheddar to go with. Plus maybe a few artisan crackers. And several slices of Olympic Provisions spicy coppa.
This is why I am rarely out of homemade mostarda in the OtherWorldly Kitchen. It’s super easy to make and with a few well-chosen accompaniments, it’s the perfect afternoon snack or simple supper.
Mostarda is an Italian condiment that falls in the chutney or conserve family. It’s made by cooking whole or sliced fruit in a vinegar, sugar, and mustard-infused syrup. The mustard flavor is derived from mustard seeds, mustard powder, or mustard oil.
After you have the basic concept in hand, give your culinary muses full reign. The addition of fresh herbs and hot chile make good sense to me. And the raisins?
Well, it is winter after all, the season of dried fruit. And MauiJim is crazy about raisins. Faced with several bags of Trader Joe’s golden raisins in the pantry and a raisin-hungry man, this lovely mostarda was inevitable.
Golden Raisin Mostarda with a Kick
A tangy, chewy, soul satisfying mélange of plump raisins swimming in a spicy mustard syrup. Nestle a spoonful next to grilled pork, duck, or almost any cured meat; add to a sandwich; or serve alongside a full flavored cheese.
½ pound (1½ cups) plump golden raisins (or half golden and half Thompson seedless raisins)
1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, stemmed, seeded, ribbed, and minced (use disposable gloves)
1 sprig rosemary
½ cup natural process apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup wildflower honey
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon mustard powder
- In a medium saucepan, add all ingredients and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer slowly until liquid is thickened somewhat and the harsh bite of the vinegar has softened. Don’t go too far though or the syrup will be too thick after it is chilled.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Remove rosemary before serving.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Makes about 1½ cups.