Ever since Elizabeth Rex posted her recipe for Orange-Fennel Mostarda (which I love), I've been wanting to try my hand at a mostarda. Since apple pairs well with pork and pork plays nicely with mustard, I ended up with this. My favorite part is the lemon, which adds an unexpected sweet fragrant bite. A note about the grappa: I used grappa because I had it on hand but since there is such a small quantity, please do not go out and buy a bottle just for this. Use any heady apple friendly spirit you have on hand, or omit entirely. —gingerroot
about 2 cups
lemon, preferably organic, washed and dried
unsulphured raisins (I used Thompson)
grappa (can substitute brandy, apple brandy, cognac or omit)
With a vegetable peeler, remove long (end to end) strips of lemon peel, being careful not to get any pith. Continue around the whole lemon. I had eight strips. Stack strips and thinly cut crosswise (toothpick width). You should have about ¼ cup.
Peel and core apples. Finely chop into uniform pieces about 1/4”. You should have a little more than 2 cups. Place in a glass bowl; add lemon pieces, sugar and vinegar. Stir to combine.
In a 1 cup pyrex measure heat ¼ cup water in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Add raisins and grappa. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, temper mustard seeds by heating oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook for about a minute. Seeds should sputter a bit. Scrape in apple mixture, raisin mixture and shallots. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add Dijon mustard and butter and cook for 10 minutes more. Let mostarda cool a bit before enjoying or transferring to a clean glass jar with a lid. Enjoy warm or at room temperature with cheese and bread, or grilled or roasted meats. Mostarda should keep for a week in the refrigerator.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.