I’ve been in California for the last week and I’ve spent most of that time sitting on my best friend’s couch, trying to recover from the flu. This was supposed to be the triumphant start to my book tour, but instead I’ve been forced to lay very low.
It’s been a lesson in flexibility and surrender, as well as a reminder that I’ve pushed myself too hard over the last year. However, thanks to a cocktail of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, decongestants, and Tamiflu, I am starting to feel human again. And so I thought I’d drop in to talk about mustard.
Mustard has long been one of my favorite condiments. I learned to love it when I was very young as an accompaniment to hot dogs and turkey bologna, and as an adult, eat it with cheese, sausage, and cold turkey. And I do so love a toasted cheese sandwich with spicy, flavorful mustard.
The inspiration for this particular mustard came from Louisa Shafia’s wonderful book, The New Persian Kitchen. I revisited my copy earlier this year because Joy and I were featuring the book on Local Mouthful and this mustard practically leapt off the page at me.
I marked it a couple months ago, but finally made it just a few days before I left for this trip (admittedly, I was stockpiling recipes so that I’d have some things to post here while I was away). I ended up tweaking the ingredients a little and streamlining the process.
I increased the amount of acid a bit, both because I wanted the finished flavor to be a bit tangier and because I wanted to ensure that it would be safe for canning. I also opted to use an immersion blender for the pureeing process, rather than transfer the mustard to a blender or food processor. Beyond that, the recipe is all Louisa.
While I haven’t dug into my jars yet, I feel certain that this mustard will be magical on turkey sandwiches. I bet it would also work nicely as a glaze for roasted chicken legs and thighs.
- 8 ounces dried figs
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Trim any stems off the figs and cut them in half. Place them in a small saucepan and cover them them with the water. Cover the pot, place it on the stove, and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for five minutes.
- While the figs heat, toast the mustard seeds in a dry skillet for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until they start to pop. Transfer them to a plate to cool. Once they're cool, grind them in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder, and add them to the figs.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt to the fig and mustard slurry and stir to combine.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the contents of the pot until mostly smooth. Cook, stirring constantly for a couple more minutes.
- To can, funnel mustard into hot jars. Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.