Summer Savory + Urfa Pepper Mustard :: A Fresh, Raw Recipe

This is one of my favorite mustards and my all-time favorite technique for a full-flavor, fresh mustard that retains the spice and warmth of the seeds and spices, and kept in your fridge, can be used indefinitely.

This is a non-canned, not shelf-stable, mustard that is never cooked, just lightly toasted, so the flavors are retained to their fullest. Mustard seeds do not like to be cooked. It changes their flavor and makes them bitter. But they love to be gently brined in vinegar, wine, and spices. This is how mustard was made in the 14th century in France, and it's still a great way to enjoy it now.

Summer savory is a delightful herb that balances perfectly with the Urfa pepper that has a rich, dark, smoky, fruity, raisin-like taste. You can substitute other herbs/peppers if you cannot get your hands on these (tarragon is a good substitute for summer savory, and you could always use dried cayenne or chipotle pepper as a substitute for Urfa). 

Urfa biber is a dried Turkish chili pepper cultivated in the Urfa region of Turkey. The peppers are sun-dried and then wrapped tightly at night to sweat them, resulting in a purplish black pepper that is smoky, fruity, and mild. Urfa biber is less spicy than many other hot peppers, but has a nice lasting, slow-build of heat. You can buy it from The Spice House online or at Kalustayan's in NYC.


  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, minced summer savory (about 1 sprig)
  • 1 teaspoon dried urfa pepper


  1. Toast mustard seeds and summer savory in a dry small heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mustard seeds begin to pop and turn 1 shade darker, about 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a small, nonreactive bowl or container and whisk in the rest of the ingredients to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or in a sealable container, and let sit at room temperature for 2 days. 
  3. After 2 days, transfer the mustard mixture to a food processor. Pulse until the desired consistency is reached, about 30 pulses for a coarse texture. [NOTE: this is a wholegrain mustard and will never be smooth, for a smooth mustard, use this recipe].
  4. Transfer the mustard to a small, nonreactive container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a mason jar, and refrigerate. The heat and flavor will dissipate over time, but mustard will never go "bad" as the ingredients do not spoil. 
  5. Serve with meat, cheese, and even fruit. I love to eat this with roast chicken, or stirred into a poached chicken salad for summer. 


Laena McCarthy