The Most Underrated Condiment?

I’m having a bit of a “thing” with mustard lately … ever since I wrote that last post about hotdogs, I’ve had mustard on my mind, and in my mouth.

It’s one of those transformative ingredients (similar to say fish sauce or red wine) and even the tiniest amount can alter the taste of an entire dish.  I’m particularly fond of adding it to foods that release a natural sweetness when cooked (eg. onions, carrots, cabbage, fennel etc) as it balances the sugar.  I also use it routinely in homemade vinaigrette, with a touch of honey, as an excellent emulsifier.

Use it sparingly though, as a little goes a very long way, and it’s much harder to “undo” (based on personal experience!) than to add a little more.  I generally fall back on my trusted grainy Dijon and though any brown mustard is great for cooking. I would avoid French’s mustard as it will give the dish too yellow a hue (due to the added turmeric) and is generally too mild for cooking. Honey mustard will deliver too much sweet, unless you’re going for that.

A few interesting tidbits about mustard:

  • The name comes from the fact that mustard was originally made with young wine (“must” in Latin)
  • Most Dijon mustard is not made in Dijon (France) and there is no regulation around the use of the name
  • Mustard seeds are high in the nutrient selenium which has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory

The dish that I made below is a really simple, wintery dish. You need to get super creative when shopping at farmers markets in the North East in January, but I am a sucker for a big head of vibrant purple cabbage, and luckily those orbs are plentiful all winter long. Fennel is more hit or miss in terms of availability, but that’s where Whole Foods comes in… The fresh twiggy thyme, which I used, is optional.

Get the recipe for Sauteed Cabbage and Fennel with Mustard and Thyme 

Any interesting ways you use mustard?  Or brands you’ve discovered that you love? Or perhaps you detest it … do tell.

Related Posts
Leeks with Sausage and Mustard
Balsamic and Mustard Dressing

 

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  • Laura

    Couldn’t agree more. I LOVE mustard, particularly in pasta dishes. It’s also fabulous with chicken. I’m eager to try your leeks with sausage and mustard recipe!

  • Fred

    Nice article, and I love (organic) mustard on a lot of stuff.  A favorite is topping salmon fillets with it (along with sprinkled thyme) , pressure cook’n them and then dabbing more on it when done! Whoa!!!

  • Jacquelyn Hoag

    mustard on a burn….takes the owch right out!
    A little mustard with mayo and seasonings for deviled eggs….

  • Deb Richards

    When my then to be husband was helping me move into the house we had just bought, he could not believe nor get over the fact that I had 9+ different types of mustard in my fridge. It did not take long in cohabitation that he began to understand why!

  • Agatha

    Did you know upwards of %90 of the world’s mustard is actually grown in Canada?  We’re having a bit of a mustard revolution over here–with artisanal mustard makers popping up all over Ontario. My favourites are Kozlik’s Mustard’s [http://www.mustardmaker.com/] out of Toronto and Mrs. McGarrigle’s Mustard [http://www.mustard.ca/] out of Merrickville.  They’re crunchy, sweet, spicy and sour all at the same… grainy perfection on a smoked meat sammie if you ask me!

  • http://piquantprose.blogspot.com/ Michaela @ Piquant Prose

    Unfortunately, my husband hates mustard.. it wasn’t until we started dating that I realized how important it was in so many recipes. Too bad.

    I added a dollop of Grey Poupon to my split pea soup the other day and it was SO good. I also love it with french fries, and just about anything that could use a little bit more pizzazz. 

  • Maggie

    Ellie Krieger has a yummy recipe for Maple Mustard Chicken Thighs and it only takes about 10mins to make, super easy. You can find the recipe on FoodNetwork.com. 

  • Kathryncorinne

    Do you know how to make mustard? I’ve been loving the idea of making my own condiments. Mayonnaise, aioli down… mustard sounds like it could be trickier though… Suggestions?

    • http://www.thesweetbeet.com Michelle Madden

      I’ve actually never made my own but I do know that you can make it fairly easy if you start with basic dry mustard (Coleman’s for ex), add some vinegar, and spice … if you start with the actual mustard seeds, you’ll need to crush them first to get them into “flour” form. But try googling it as I’m sure there are several good recipes out there….and then report back if you do make it !

  • http://www.healthykitchenplus.com/grain-mill-comparison-chart Juice

    I have been a mustard fan since I was a child.  I actually at a small jar of mustard when I was a child.  Thanks for the article.  I will be giving this a try very soon.

  • http://twitter.com/nutmegs_seven Elly McCausland

    I’m going to stop spamming your blog with comments now, but just had to say – so true! I’ve only recently discovered how good mustard can be in all kinds of dishes. My favourite is to make a dressing with wholegrain mustard, olive oil and some seasoning and use it for a salad of thinly sliced fennel with pomegranate seeds and sliced pears. Delicious and great with meat or fish.

  • http://twitter.com/nutmegs_seven Elly McCausland

    I’m going to stop spamming your blog with comments now, but just had to say – so true! I’ve only recently discovered how good mustard can be in all kinds of dishes. My favourite is to make a dressing with wholegrain mustard, olive oil and some seasoning and use it for a salad of thinly sliced fennel with pomegranate seeds and sliced pears. Delicious and great with meat or fish.