There is a lot of information to chew on in Salumi, the Craft of Italian Dry Curing (WW Norton, August 27, 2012) by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn which landed on my desk a few days ago.
The book offers a wealth of how to lessons on making Lonza, Coppa and other Italian salumis.
The last part with recipes from soups to pizza should not be neglected.
One of them is the meatless Northern Italian classic Mostarda di Cremona which combines mostly summer fruits, plums, apricots, peaches, cherries and pears that I wanted to share before i have the chance to interview Michael Ruhlman in a few days.
Mostarda di Cremona
2 Bartlett pears (12 ounces/335 grams)
2 cups/725 milliliters water
3½ cups/665 grams sugar
2 plums (10 ounces/280 grams), halved and pitted
1 cup/110 grams bing cherries, halved and pitted
4 apricots (5 ounces/140 grams), halved and pitted
4 peaches (12 ounces/335 grams), halved, pitted, and each half quartered
10 ounces/280 grams (about 1 pint) Black Mission figs, halved or quartered, depending on size
2 cups/725 milliliters white wine vinegar
½ cup/65 grams Colman’s dry mustard
1 tablespoon/12 grams mustard seeds
1. Peel the pears, cut lengthwise in half, and remove the cores. Cut each half into 8 even wedges, then cut the wedges in half.
2. Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Slowly add the sugar and bring back to a boil to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the pears and cook until they are almost soft, about 8 minutes. Add the plums and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cherries and cook for 5 minutes. Add the apricots, peaches, and figs and cook until all the fruit is tender but not too soft.
3. Meanwhile, bring the vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan and dissolve the mustard in it. Add the mustard seeds and remove from the heat.
4. With a slotted spoon, lift the fruit out of the syrup and transfer to a storage container.
5. Add the vinegar to the syrup and boil until reduced to a thick syrup.
6. Pour the syrup over the fruit and let cool, then cover and chill before serving. This will keep for up to a week refrigerated.
Yield: 1 quart/1 liter
( *Reprinted from Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Photographs copyright © 2012 by Gentl & Hyers. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)