In Italian cuisine, a mostarda is used as a condiment to enhance cheese, charcuterie, or cold meat. My favorite pairing, especially at holiday time, is to spoon it atop slices of cold, leftover turkey. Other times of the year I use it on pork or duck.
This Grape Mostarda recipe is from Eric Ripert, the chef-co-owner the acclaimed New York restaurant Le Bernardin. The seedless red grapes are simmered with balsamic vinegar, sugar, and spices to create a sweet and spicy garnish. Stored in clean glass jars the mostarda will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Eric Ripert’s Grape Mostarda
Yield: About 2 cups
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cracked mustard seeds; see cook’s notes
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes
Cook’s notes: To crack mustard seeds, put them in a heavy zipper-style bag and pound with a meat mallet or the bottom of a sturdy saucepan just enough to break them up, but not pulverize them. Well yes, some will get pulverized but don’t worry.
1. Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and cinnamon in a deep saucepan and bring to boil on high heat. Continue boiling until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Stir in mustard powder. Add red grapes, pushing them down into a single layer. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until grapes are just barely cooked through. Transfer to clean jars. The mostarda will keep in refrigerator, covered, up to 2 months.
Source: “Avec Eric” by Eric Ripert (Wiley, $34.95)
Cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at cathythomascooks@gmail. com