Everyone knows that cranberries are a mandatory component to Thanksgiving dinner. The bright red not only brings a splash of color, but a zing and an extraordinary punch of flavor to a mostly white plate. Turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes. And bam, cranberries. Gorgeous.
Truth be told, though, I have never been a fan. I was raised on the cranberries from the can that you just slice along the lines and voila. You had cranberry sauce. My grandmother probably made fresh cranberry sauce as well, but because I hated the canned stuff, I always ignored any type of red concoction on the table. (That is, except for my mother’s incredible layered cranberry Jell-o salad, but that’s another story.)
Years ago, David introduced me to homemade cranberry sauce, but it still didn’t grab me. He cooks the raw cranberries with orange juice and zest and then adds chopped pecans. While it is quite good, it still didn’t do it for me.
But I recently had a raw cranberry dish that did do it for me. In fact, that same night I even dreamed about having it with pork chops! Plus, from a nutritional perspective, raw is always better, right?
And when I found out how simple it is to make, I knew I had to add this colorful and raw cranberry concoction to our holiday tradition this year.
No matter what your proclivity to cranberry sauce—canned with or without lines, homemade or, like my former self, avoided at all costs—this is one cranberry sauce that changed my holidays forever. And, for that, I am so grateful.
Raw Cranberry Relish
- 1 bag of fresh cranberries preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- Zest of one orange
- Juice of said orange
Rinse the cranberries and drain them well. Pour them into a food processor. Add the sugar and honey and pulse until everything is finely chopped.
Place in a container and let the flavors meld for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
The next day, remove the cranberry relish from the fridge and taste. Add the zest of one orange and then juice that orange into the bowl. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and gravy.