400g carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
100g sugar
1 thick slice fresh or toasted baguette, for crostini
¼ teaspoon hot English mustard, or to taste
2 tablespoons mascarpone or cream cheese
1 tablespoon carrot mostarda
1 thin slice roast ham

This curious carrot mostarda was one of the first recipes from Mariù Salvatori de Zuliani’s cookbook that I wanted to cook. She describes this as an old recipe using many lemons and much, much more sugar and a low, slow, 4-hour cooking time. She pairs this with boiled meat, as mostarda often is. I think it is lovely with prosciutto arrosto or prosciutto cotto, which is cooked ham as opposed to cured as prosciutto crudo is. Use a top-quality, freshly sliced, off -the-bone ham.

You could also see this as a sort of in saor recipe if you perhaps leave out the sugar, but add raisins and pinenuts to it for sweetness – in fact, this is another Venetian Jewish recipe recounted in the Slow Food Ricette di Osteria del Veneto, a dish for celebrating the New Year for the symbolic happy golden colour and shape of the carrot slices.

This will make enough mostarda for twelve cicchetti. But if you have any leftovers, try it out next to a roast or on sandwiches – also see Variations, below, for more ideas.

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2.Combine the carrots, lemon zest and juice and vinegar in a small saucepan with 500ml (2 cups) water and bring to the boil.
3.Add the sugar and, once it has dissolved, turn the heat to a low simmer, cover, and let cook slowly for 1–1½ hours.
4.The carrots should be soft and the liquid should be reduced and syrupy.
5.Once made, the mostarda keeps well, like home-made jam, in an airtight jar in the fridge.
7.To assemble the cicchetti, on each slice of bread spread the mustard, followed by the mascarpone, then the carrot mostarda and top with a slice of roast ham.
9.You could substitute the roast ham with roast beef or, for a vegetarian version, try the carrot mostarda with gorgonzola or another strong blue cheese (skipping the mustard and mascarpone).
10.I had something similar at the popular bàcaro Vino Vero – a warm crostino topped with mostarda and a slice of gooey washed-rind cheese.

This is an edited
extract from Cinnamon
& Salt by Emiko
Davies, published by
Hardie Grant Books,
RRP $45. Available
in stores nationally.
©Emiko Davies