Rhubarb-Currant Mostarda

Rhubarb & Dried Currant Mostarda

If you were to snoop around my house, through my mess of a purse, and in the depths of my pockets, you’d find a thousand little scraps of paper covered in scribbles about things I want to cook.  A few weeks ago, I jotted down one of these notes to myself with the heading “late spring/early summer”.  The list ended up looking like it should simply be titled “10 things to do with rhubarb”.

Well, we tackled the first thing on the list a couple of weeks back: a batch of ginger-rhubarb swirled ice cream that was awfully good.  Today, we’ll make a mostarda so we can eat our rhubarb with some savory dishes too.  

Mostarda, if you’re unfamiliar, is in Italian condiment made from simmering fresh and/or dried fruits with mustard seeds, vinegar, and sugar until it reaches a thick, jammy consistency.  This one is a sweet-tart mix of fresh rhubarb and dried currants with an assertive mustard pop.  It’s great used as an accompaniment to cheese or cured meats and I’d be willing to bet it would be pretty spectacular with a grilled pork chop.  If I have any left by the weekend, I’ll be sure to test the theory.

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Croatian Chard with Potatoes & Garlic (Blitva)

Croatian Swiss Chard with Potatoes
It’s been a little while since I’ve shared a new recipe here.  I didn’t mean for it to be that way, it’s just that a switch flipped and, magically, summer began.  Suddenly, I was less interested in spending time in the kitchen and a whole lot more interested in digging up dirt and taking long walks.    

Now, of course, I’ve still had to eat but it’s mostly been a lot of mishmash salads and really simple dinners.  One of my recent favorite simple (and slightly extravagant) dinners was an evening spent on my patio, eating a giant T-bone and a big pot of garlicky Swiss chard and potatoes.  And don’t get me wrong, though the steak was certainly nothing to sneeze at, I think I was actually more upset when I finished my last strand of chard.

So let me give you a little background on this side dish–I certainly didn’t invent it and, quite honestly, I think a few years ago I would have thought it was an odd combination.  Around this time last year, I took a trip to Croatia and was first introduced to blitva, garlicky sautéed Swiss chard with potatoes.  I saw it on darned near every menu, ordered it a few times, and worked it into my repertoire once I got home. 

Dubrovnik Rooftops


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