Deadline Diary, Day 4: I live by the clipboard and the pen. In the kitchen, I recipe-test, working from a chef’s notes to ensure that a home cook can easily recreate dishes from a restaurant kitchen to pair with cheese. So far, so good. But this week, I’ve been struggling with mostarda, a sweet-sour Italian condiment that’s made with fruit and mustard. In this case, we’re using tomatillos, which are similar to green tomatoes. I can imagine this working with fatty Fontina and Taleggio, two cheeses that pair well with green tomato jam or chutney.
But Mostarda is new territory for me. I’ve eyed the glowing jars of it at Eataly, but I’ve never smacked my lips over a mostarda sandwich, so I have to guess how it should taste. Two batches later, I am still scratching my head. The tomatillo mostarda I’ve made has either been too salty (my fault for not straining the juices) or the tomatillos have been dry and rubbery (from draining off the juice and cooking the fruit too long?).
Today I’m off to buy some jars for my own mostarda party. One of the things I’ve realized is that no matter how many mostarda recipes I study online and in books, nothing takes the place of a taste. If you have mostarda experience or you have a favorite brand, leave me a comment. I’d love your recommendation!
Note: This post is part of a daily series I’m writing as I work to complete a book about cheese pairings. Deadline: July 1.