I’ve spent the last several weeks eating peaches pretty much any way I can think of: baked with a sweet biscuit topping in cobbler, sliced with yogurt, chopped up in salads with goat cheese and toasted pecans, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar on toast for a tasty bruschetta at Serious Pie. Peach season is short and undeniably sweet, but by the time I was gifted a big box of Red Havens earlier this week, I was looking to do something different.
Taking a cue from a recipe in Amy Pennington’s indispensable book Urban Pantry, I decided to make up a batch of peach mostarda, a chunky mustard inspired by the Italian dish of chopped fruit preserved in a mustard seed-infused syrup. Traditionally served as an accompaniment to roasted or boiled meat, mostarda also makes a great, savory-sweet addition to cheese plates, spread on sandwiches, or spooned onto grilled sausages.
Pennington’s recipe features apricots, but was easily adapted to peaches. Peeled, chopped fruit is cooked with water, lemon juice, and sugar into a jam-like consistency, then combined with a vinegar and crushed mustard seed infusion. I like mine with bite-sized bits of peaches, but it’s also easily blended into a smoother sauce. The finished product, which tastes a bit like a more interesting honey mustard, can be canned in a water bath for shelf stability or kept in the refrigerator for a few months.
I spread slices of Dahlia Bakery’s house loaf thickly with the mostarda, layered on Beecher’s Just Jack cheese, smoked ham, and arugula, and enjoyed a richly flavored, ooey gooey Panini with a glass of L’Ecole Semillon. As dinners go, it was just peachy.