Making Mostarda

Chef Ben Kirk of Avo and Dram shares his mostarda recipe. 

By Jan Walsh     

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Mostarda is an Italian condiment made of candied fruit and mustard-flavored syrup. Historically, it was served as an accompaniment to boiled meats; in modern times, it has become popular alongside cheese.

At Dram Whiskey Bar, executive chef Ben Kirk pairs it with their famous grilled cheese, made of cheddar, “preacher ham,” and arugula. Kirk also suggests presenting it on a gourmet cheese or charcuterie plate or with pork. (In the chef demo video, he also discusses how to make it more of a sauce for the pork.) View the video at


2 tablespoons olive oil

5 ounces Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces

5 ounces dried apricots, diced into ¼-inch pieces

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cinnamon stick

½ teaspoon orange zest

½ cup orange juice

½ cup whole grain mustard

½ teaspoon salt/white pepper mix



Sauté apples and apricots in oil over moderate heat until apples start to soften (be careful not to scorch apricots.) Stir in sugar, vinegar, orange zest, cinnamon, and juice. Bring to a simmer and let mixture reduce slightly. Remove from heat and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and stir in mustard. Season with salt and pepper. This recipe makes two cups that will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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