sweet and simple: honey mustard

September has blown in like the winds of a hurricane, gusting and squalling, with the eye of the storm not yet in sight. I was gone for the first two weekends of the month, and while I’m not complaining, it really was a lot all at once. Madeline started first grade, and with first grade came her first experience with homework. Which means…OUR first experience helping her with homework. Swim practice for both kids – twice a week – started in the midst of all of this chaos, as did our beloved college football season with home games most of these first Saturdays in September.

So, really, it’s all good stuff. Seriously.

But, the icing on the cake — the bitter icing, the rancid buttercream frosting that you just DON’T want to eat – is that we lost our afternoon babysitter. Now, maybe I’m putting too much emphasis on how much help she was, but I don’t really think so. She was a huge help to me. And I miss her. Dearly.

But we’re working through it. I’m working through it.  So, in the spirit of finding simplicity again, and in trying to center myself, I’ve made a very simple recipe. Yes, friends, I’ve made honey mustard. Never thought honey mustard could be soothing, could you? Well, it is. I promise. The simple acts of chopping sweet Vidalia onions into perfect slices, stirring those slices slowly in the pan, swirling the whole melting mess together with the honey – these are the things I needed.

Honey Mustard

This recipe is only just tweaked from the recipe in Barbara Lynch's Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition. The recipe makes about 3/4 cup of honey mustard. Because I live in the south, we are surrounded by sweet Vidalia onions, so I used a Vidalia as the main onion in this recipe.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very tender, about 20 minutes. Add the honey and mustard and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the pan before the onion is fully cooked, you can add up to 1/4 cup water. [Note: I did not need to add any water to mine.] Let cool a bit and then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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19 Responses to “strawberry jam with balsamic and black pepper”

  1. LiztheChef — May 2, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    Your berries are gorgeous! I need to get jammin’ before our local season ends here in San Diego.

  2. Winnie — May 2, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    I LOVE this!!! I made strawberry black pepper syrup last year, which I added to sparkling water for homemade “sodas” last summer. Can’t wait until my strawberries are ready to eat…

  3. Lindsay — May 2, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

    Love the addition of black pepper! I did a batch of strawberry balsamic and strawberry vanilla and strawberry blood orange. Wanted to do a strawberry chocolate too but, alas, ran out of berries! Will have to go picking again before the season is over. 🙂

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:06 am

      Sadly, our season is ending now. I think we picked the last of the berries at the farm we visited on Saturday.

  4. Megan — May 2, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    One of my friends makes this flavor jam for her business and it is wonderful!

    I did want to add, though – if you are going to process this in a hot-water bath, this recipe likely doesn’t use enough sugar or pectin to ensure a good, safe set. Regular pectin is pretty different from Pomona’s, because the calcium water is a key component of what makes Pomona’s work. Just wanted to put that out there in case someone tried canning this and it didn’t work!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:06 am

      Megan – You’re absolutely right. I’ve updated the recipe so as to not lead anyone astray. Thanks for pointing this out!

  5. Paula — May 3, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    The addition of the black pepper in this jam is really intriguing. It looks amazing. You should take a sample back to the Australian’s booth at the market and let him taste it. Sorry you came home with two unneeded jars of his jam. I can imagine it would be hard to resist a sales pitch from a good looking Australian with some nice looking jam and a great accent 🙂

  6. This jam sounds absolutely divine! I’m still waiting for strawberry season to arrive here, but I’m bookmarking this recipe for when it does.

  7. This looks so delicious, and who can turn down a tall guy with an accent? 😉

  8. Liz — May 3, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    Wow – I had no idea it was so easy; would have never thought to use the microwave! Thanks for the great idea 🙂

  9. myfudo — May 3, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

    I can’t go home from the produce store not carrying my week’s share of juicy and pretty strawberries. I love baking with them, cooking with them…Spring is Strawberry time. This is something i’d love to try =)

  10. Angie@Angiesrecipes — May 4, 2012 @ 5:59 am

    The jam looks so fresh and delectable. Love the peppery touch.

  11. autumn straw — May 8, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    I was wondering if this would work with Spleda or Truvia? My father has diabetes and I try and make things that he can enjoy. Anyone have any ideas?

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

      You could certainly try it. It may not set up firmly. But, if you can find Pomona’s Pectin and replace it for the regular pectin, it’s easier to use sugar replacements — or even honey or agave syrup.

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  13. Pingback: Strawberry Balsamic Sorbet and Jam « welldined.com

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  15. Sarah @ Well Dined — November 7, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    So delicious and easy – thank you!

  16. Pingback: seeing red (berries) | pint-sized house

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