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Mostarda di Frutta

Mostarda, an Italian condiment made with preserved fruits, mustard, herbs, and citrus, is a worthy addition to a salumi and cheese board. This recipe from the new six-part series, Preserved, explains the preparation process.

9:00 AM EDT on October 31, 2023

mostarda ingredients in a pan

The makings of mostarda di frutta, a condiment made with preserved fruits. Photo: David Malosh

Darra Goldstein, Cortney Burns, and Appetito co-founder Richard Martin have joined forces to create a six-volume series, Preserved, from Hardie Grant Publishing. The first two volumes, Preserved: Condiments and Preserved: Fruit, are out this week, filled with stories and recipes that spotlight varied cultures' methods for preserving ingredients and making delicious things out of them. Appetito is proud to feature a recipe from Preserved: Condiments, for an Italian specialty, mostarda di frutta.

Preserved: Condiments book cover
Preserved: Condiments is available now from Hardie Grant Publishing.

Italian mostarda is a heady condiment, a more interesting addition to a charcuterie board than quince paste or fig spread. This sweet-and-sour medley is traditionally prepared by candying various fruits in concentrated grape must over several days, then adding a savory touch with mustard—though the condiment’s name derives not from the mustard (senape in Italian) but from the must (Latin musto). A specialty of Cremona in northern Italy, this vibrant relish can be traced back to the ancient Roman practice of preserving fruits and vegetables in vinegar and honey. Our simplified recipe produces a delectable relish in under two hours.

Mostarda di Frutta

Mostarda di Frutta

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Recipe by Darra Goldstein, Cortney Burns, and Richard Martin


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 4 cups 4 / 950 ml dry white wine

  • 1 1/4 cups 1 1/4 / 170 g sucanat (unrefined cane sugar) or 220 g light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 / 60 ml white balsamic vinegar

  • 2 large 2 green apples (about 1 pound / 454 g), such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch / 1.25 cm cubes

  • 6 ounces 6 / 170 g dried apricots, quartered

  • 6 ounces 6 / 170 g dried apples, finely diced

  • 4 ounces 4 / 110 g dried pitted sour cherries, halved

  • 2 2 shallots, minced

  • 3 tablespoons 3 / 47 g Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons 2 / 22 g yellow mustard seed

  • 1 tablespoon 1 minced fresh lemon thyme or thyme

  • 2 2 bay leaves

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Zest of 1/2 orange

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 cayenne pepper


  • Bring all of the ingredients to a boil in a 4-quart / 4 L saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Decrease the heat and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apricots and cherries are plumped, the apples have broken down, and the liquid is reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • Cool to room temperature, then remove the bay leaves.
  • Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if desired. Serve right away or transfer to an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


  • Excerpted with permission from Preserved: Condiments by Darra Goldstein, Cortney Burns, and Richard Martin published by Hardie Grant Publishing, October 2023, RRP .00 Hardcover.
  • Makes 1 1/2 quarts

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