Mostarda in various forms appears all over Italy. It is an "agrodolce" relish (bittersweet, or sweet and sour), most commonly made from fruit, fresh, dried, or candied — quince, pears, apples, even grape must, and mixed with wine and mustard. La Cucina Italiana published a short informative article on the history of mostarda, which apparently was a favorite of Catherine de Medici, who included a jar in her dowry trunk when she travelled to France to marry the son of the king in 1533.
I've made different variations of mostarda on several occasions. Mostarda is customarily served in the fall, often paired with boiled meats. Once I made a batch, I found plenty of ways to use it — you could serve it with grilled or roasted chicken or pork, include it in an antipasti platter, serve it with some great cheeses, or grill some radicchio and brush some on just before serving. Here, I've created a version using native Maine cranberries from Ricker Hill Orchards, perfect for your Thanksgiving table.
See all cranberry recipes.
- 12 Ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/4 Cup dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 Cup Craisins, chopped
- 1/4 Cup candied orange peel, chopped
- 1/4 Cup candied lemon peel, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 Cup red wine
- 1/4 Cup honey
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon mustard powder
Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook over low heat until softened and thick, about 20 minutes. Let cool.