Mostarda is a versatile accompaniment to food, but it’s not mustard, it’s a condiment like relish or chutney. The name is derived from the Latin word mustum (“must”), referring to the original and classic use of grape must for the base.
There are numerous mostarda variations but virtually all of them consist of fresh and dried fruit, spices, herbs, and a mustard seed–based sweet syrup, combined and reduced to a spicy, piquant, sweet-and-sour mélange. Mostarda is wonderful paired with anything from boiled or roasted meats and poultry to bread and cheese.
My favorite prepared mostarda is Mostarda di Ciliegie, an expensive import from Modena, Italy, which features cherries and the region’s famous balsamic vinegar. It’s fabulous with pork, cheese, and countless other foods.
The pricey part got me thinking about making a mostarda sous vide. Not only could I pick the combination of fruits, both dried and fresh, I could choose the spices too. And best of all, I could put it all together, let the water bath do its magic, and not have to “watch” the pot!
Makes about 6 cups
- Preheat the water bath to 185°F (85°C).
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until completely combined. Divide the mixture equally between 2 large zip-lock food bags and seal using the water displacement method.
- Cook for 1 hour.
- Transfer the mostarda to lidded containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I prefer to serve it warm or at room temperature. Use as an accompaniment to meats, poultry, bread, cheese, on sandwiches, or to perk up a vinaigrette or a sauce.