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This Italian-style fruit mustard is made with fresh cherries and Dijon mustard. It’s delicious in sandwiches, salad dressings and so much more!
Cherries are the “it” fruit in summer.
I know you could easily just kick back on a hammock and eat a bowlful of them on a nice day, but why not jazz up your life a little and make a cherry mostarda?
Making condiment sauces with seasonal, ripe fruit can a creative way to use up what doesn’t get eaten straight out of the fridge.
Fresh fruit mustards taste so much better than the usual mustard or ketchup you can buy and squeeze out of a plastic bottle.
What is mostarda?
Mostarda is a type of Italian condiment made with fruit and mustard. It’s tangy and sweet, kind of like a zesty ketchup.
This recipe is a riff on a traditional Italian condiment, mostarda di frutta, which is a sweet-hot-tangy preserve.
Most versions of a mostarda, like Mostarda di Cremona, tend to consist of whole pieces of fruit in a mustard and vinegar-laced sugar syrup, served with meats in northern regions of Italy like Tuscany and Piedmont.
My recipe is very much inspired by Madeleine Kamman, the amazing French cooking teacher and food scholar.
Her book In Madeleine’s Kitchen includes some recipes for “Italian-style fruit puree mustards”.
Here are some ideas for using your homemade Cherry Mostarda:
(Because believe me, after pitting a few pounds of cherries you will not want to waste a bit!)
- Use cherry mostarda in place of Dijon mustard in a salad dressing to make a cherry vinaigrette.
- Spread a charcoal-grilled burger with mostarda – I seasoned chicken burgers with fennel and fresh rosemary and topped them with goat cheese and mostarda. Yum.
- Glaze a pork tenderloin or some chicken wings with mostarda.
- Put some on a ham sandwich.
- Serve on a cheese tray, with crackers and fruit
- 1 pound (450 g) sweet cherries, pitted
- ⅓ cup (75 g) sugar
- ⅓ cup (75 ml) balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) full-bodied red wine, such as zinfandel or malbec
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Dijon mustard
Yield: about 2 cups
- Combine everything except the Dijon in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer then lower heat and cook until reduced to a thick puree with the consistency of ketchup, about 1 hour over low heat. Stir in the Dijon off the heat and season if needed.
- Crush the cherries with a potato masher or pulse in a blender or food processor if you prefer a smoother texture.
- Keep in a covered jar in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.
Is there a prep for making black cherry mostarda and water bath canning it so it can be preserved for a few months at room temp?
Hi Greg, I haven’t attempted to preserve the mostarda this way. I suggest you consult a good basic canning guide, such as Canning in the Modern Kitchen. or Ball Complete Guide to Home Canning.
I didn’t rate this as I haven’t made it, yet. I first had cherry mostarda at a high end restaurant in Chicago, served with lamb rib chops. It’s was amazing and I’ve been looking for a recipe ever since. I can’t wait for cherries to come into season so I make this!
Let me know if you make it Lindala!
Is it really 348 calories a Tablespoon??
No – it’s 87 calories. Thanks for noticing that! I just recalculated the nutrition facts.
I had to come back and let you know Ill be making this for my 5th year now and love it! I can never can enough of it to make it through the year!
This makes a wonderful sauce for meats, great salad dressing and I love it smeared on a toasted brioche roll with a juicy hamburger, touch of blue cheese and grilled mushrooms and onions.
Thank you so much for sharing it!
Sounds lovely. I’m allergic to grapes… Any thoughts on substitutions for the vinegar and red wine?
And yes, I realize that I can never live in Italy/France… The food would literally kill me. Sigh.
Oh, Clothespin I feel for you! You’re right it could be very hard to avoid the temptation of grapes in Italy or France. As for the mostarda, you could try omitting the wine in the recipe and using rice wine or apple cider vinegar instead of the balsamic. Let me know how it goes!
Can this recipe be adapted for dried cherries?
Jack, no I would wait until you can find fresh cherries in season. On the other hand, if you do make this with fresh cherries, a small handful of dried ones mixed in too would be great, I think.
I am so excited about this idea!!! I made cherry preserves that were incredible with a cheese place and just about everything else (I looove cherries) but the idea of making mostarda is something new to me. Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂
I am so glad you posted this! I have had cherry mostardo on cheese plates and charcuterie plates, but never have tried making it, myself. But I just pitted and froze a pound of cherries. Might just have to put them to use in this. Yum!
Great recipe! Do you know if there’s enough sugar and acid to can it in a water bath?
Hi Tracey – I haven’t tried making this as a traditional preserve in a water bath, so can’t really answer your question. I’m going to ask some preserving experts and update when I have more info to share. Hope you’ll try this in the meantime!
Hey Karen! I love this recipe and adore the idea of adding it to a chicken burger. What a way to go from ho-hom to haute!
Any tips for pitting the cherries?? This looks beautiful, by the way!
I use a a cherry/olive pitter, an inexpensive gadget.. You can also use a sharp paring knife – make a shallow cut all around the cherry, half and remove the pit. Either way, it’s kinda messy…
Thank you for posting this recipe! I was trying to find something to spice up an appetizer for a dinner party tomorrow and this will work perfectly! Toast triangles with goat cheese, smoked duck breast and cherry mostarda. Yum!
Did you pit your cherries by hand? I’m impressed! I did 1.5 cups the other day for some cherry ricotta muffins and was all pitted out after that… 🙂
I love the idea of this! I need to get my hands on some cherries!
Wow, this looks so unique and ecclectic! I’m not a mustard fan, but I wonder if I’d nevertheless end up liking this cherry version. Quite intriguing.
I know cherries with manchego is a popular combination in the Basque country. Do you think this Cherry Mostarda would work with the cheese? Maybe be go on a cheese board?
Ruthie – I love that idea! Yes, absolutely on a cheese board. Thanks for the suggestion.