My Recipe Box

Fig, Lemon, and Pear Mostarda


Yields about 3 cups

  • by from web only

The fresh pears and dried figs in this version of the mustardy Italian condiment are a lush accompaniment to grill-roasted turkey (and a nice change from cranberry sauce). Make the mostarda at least a day ahead to give the flavors a chance to ripen.

  • 2 small lemons, preferably organic, scrubbed
  • 2 cups dry vermouth
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. yellow mustard seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lb. very firm medium pears (about 4)
  • 16 dried Calimyrna (California) figs
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Cut off the top and bottom of the lemons to expose the pulp. Cut in half lengthwise and make a V cut into each half to remove the central membrane. Nudge out any remaining seeds, and slice each half crosswise as thin as possible.

Put the lemon slices in a 3-quart saucepan with the vermouth, sugar, bay leaves, mustard seeds, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the pears and cut in half lengthwise. Core, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Stem the figs and cut into sixths. Add the fruit to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat and cook at an active simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender and the juices are reduced and syrupy, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, stir in the Dijon mustard, and cool. Refrigerate in a covered container overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Photo: Scott Phillips

I made this as a change to cranberry sauce. We did a pre-thankgiving dinner with a deep fried turkey, it was a perfect compliment to the meat. It got rave reviews from all. Great flavor. I served it 4 days after I made it, and tasted it each day, it just kept getting better the longer it was jarred and stored in the fridge. If your looking for something different this is a great condiment.

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