I’ll be honest with you, when it comes to making jams & jellies – I am just plain LAZY. The whole process leaves me feverish and that’s just thinking about it!
However when my Mom called today (for the 53rd time) to ask me what she should do with the gallon of raspberries a day coming out of her garden, I thought of mostarda. Lazy gals jam! It’s easy to make, keeps for a week or more and is the perfect perfect complement to boiled, roasted cured meats. I love it as an addition to an antipasta tray, on bruschetta, in a panini or served with grilled veggies. It’s even yummy with french toast or slathered on a croissant. Best, it couldn’t be easier to make.
It dates back to the 15th Century if not even more. Traditionally it was made with grape must and mustard but there is a variation for every town in Italy. The MUST is the mustard. The combination of sweet fruit and spicy mustard. Catherine de Medici so loved it that she took jars of it with her in dowry box when she married the King of France. Atta girl!
6 Cups Raspberries
1 Cup Chopped Red Onion (Carmalize in some oil before putting into the mostarda)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Champagne Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tsp. Chopped Fresh Basil
Peel of 1 Orange, in thin strips
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
Bring all ingredients except mustard to a simmer in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer until the liquids thicken and the raspberries are soft but still intact. About 20 minutes. Mix in mustard. Combine.
Cool. Cover and keep refrigerated. Will last a week. Serve room temp.
It’s just that easy and no feverish chills at the thought of boiling jars or popped seals. Mostarda can be made with any fruit – try grapes, strawberries or peaches. Figs are divine. Pears and apples also winners. Choose whatever is locally in season. All good. You can switch up the herbs used as well. Thyme is yummy or even rosemary with the grapes is really nice. Experiment with other vinegars as well. Once you have your favorite fruit mostarda sorted out, try one with tomatoe. Or is that a fruit?
Does anybody else have another recipe for “lazy jam” from another culture? Mostarda, Italian certo, is from Lombardy. There must be a French version of this, non?