I’m willing to bet you’ve never tried mostarda. Despite being around for more than five centuries, it’s not a popular condiment (at least here, in America), and it should be; it’s delicious, inexpensive to make, healthy and versatile.
Mostarda is of Northern Italian origin. It’s a sweet and spicy mustard-based condiment that incorporates fresh or dried fruit, vegetables or a combination of the two. While mostarde can vary greatly depending on what’s in season, mustard essence is essential, giving the condiment its signature, lip-smacking flavor.
In the fall, I like to make mostarda with apples and figs; in the summer, cherries and peaches. Since spring has sprung, I just made a variation with fennel and citrus, and you can find the recipe below. It’s refreshing, and goes well with everything from charcuterie and cheese to poultry, eliminating the need for a sauce or marinade.
For beginners, just serve my mostarda alongside a high-quality, aged Parmigiano cheese. Accompany that with some crackers and a crisp, white wine, and you will be among the converted. I promise!
Tina’s Fennel & Citrus Mostarda
1 bulb fennel, small dice, including stalks and fronds
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup white wine vinegar
Zest the oranges and lemons. Place the zest in a saucepan. Use a sharp knife to remove the pith from the citrus. Dice the flesh of the citrus, discarding any seeds. Place in the saucepan with the fennel, mustard seeds, Dijon, sugar and white wine vinegar. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the fennel is soft and the texture of the juices is syrupy, about 20 minutes. Cool before serving.
Nutrition Information per 2 Tablespoon Serving:
Total Fat: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 8 g
Protein: 1 g
Sodium: 30 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Yield: 2 cups
Time: 40 minutes