I received a jar of Maille’s Honey and Modena Balsamic Vinegar mustard from Maille Canada, but received no other consideration. All opinions are my own.
I keep two kinds of mustard in my refrigerator – a Dijon mustard and a grainy mustard. I’ve tried many different grainy mustards, but the Dijon is always Maille. I use these mustards in salad dressings, slather them over lamb and other meats for roasting, and sneak them in as my secret weapon for pan sauces, dips, casseroles, or savoury pies. These dishes are all improved by mustard’s piquancy, but the very best application for quality mustard is in Dorie Greenspan‘s recipe for Gérard’s Mustard Tart. I do not come from a mustard-loving family, but they all ask for seconds when I make this dish.
Since I focus on mustard as an ingredient rather than as a condiment, I haven’t really explored flavoured mustards. So, when Maille Canada offered me the opportunity to try their Honey and Modena Balsamic Vinegar mustard, my mind turned to cooking. The first thing on my agenda was the tomato variation of Dorie’s tart. I swapped out grainy mustard for the balsamic and studded the custard with juicy grape tomatoes. I also added a touch of sage along with the rosemary called for in the recipe.
Since I had the pastry in the freezer, already fitted into my tart pan, this dish took about 30 minutes from cracking the eggs to pulling it from the oven. This is a weeknight supper that looks like it belongs in an upscale buffet. Pair it with a winter salad and you don’t really need anything else. Since it keeps very well, this one will be making a brunch appearance tomorrow, too.
You can find the recipe here for the original version of the tart – to make the balsamic tomato version, swap out the two tablespoons of grainy mustard for balsamic mustard and use sliced tomatoes in place of the carrots and leeks.
The balsamic mustard is mellow, with a sweetness that’s balanced by heat. It’s terrific in this tart, playing against the Dijon mustard, the herbs, and tomatoes. I might just change my mind about mustard as a condiment, if this is on offer. I can imagine putting a layer of this mustard on a bresaola tartine or, even better, a goat cheese and strawberry tartine. It’s mild enough that it’s perfect for all sorts of dishes that straddle the line between savoury and sweet. It’s also going to become a favourite for dressings and marinades.
Maille was kind enough to send along a jar of their Malossol cornichons with the balsamic mustard, but I’m unable to review them. The jar opened in transit and I reluctantly had to compost them. My partner was heartbroken – good cornichons are one of his favourite indulgences.
Luckily, Maille’s gourmet lines can be found at a number of food purveyors, including Urban Fare, which hosted a Maille pop up shop over the holidays. I hope they bring back their mustard on tap to British Columbia soon – I’ve decided that my mustard collection is in need of expansion.