Recipe: Cherry-pear <i>mostarda</i>

Cherry-pear mostarda.
Cherry-pear mostarda.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
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Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: Makes a generous 1½ quarts

Note: Adapted from Quinn and Karen Hatfield. Dried pears can be found in most well-stocked and gourmet markets, as well as online. Pickled mustard seeds are available at select gourmet markets and online.

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter

1 1/2 cups finely diced onion (from about 1 large onion)

4 cups (about 20 ounces) dried tart cherries, chopped

2 1/2 cups water

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup (about 4 ounces) diced dried pear

3/4 cup whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons pickled mustard seeds, optional

In a large saucepan heated over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sweat until tender, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cherries, water and sugar, and cook until the cherries are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the pears and continue to cook for 1 minute to soften slightly. Remove from heat, stir in the mustard and mustard seeds, if using, and set aside to cool completely. The mostarda will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

Each tablespoon: 42 calories; 0 protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 2 mg cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 45 mg sodium.