When this recipe from reader Reign Galovin, featuring fresh cranberries kicked up with ginger and chiles, came through our contest entries, I was excited to test it. The result is a refreshing hybrid of relish and salsa. I encourage you to use fresh, firm cranberries. The recipe calls for cilantro leaves, which is pretty if not a bit fussy; I actually like to chop up the stems as well, which is quicker and intensifies the cilantro flavor. I also reduced the amount of sugar to 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons. If I were to add anything, perhaps a handful of crisp pomegranate arils and some salt. What’s brilliant about this salsa is that it goes well with almost everything. Serve a bowl of it as an alternative to cranberry sauce for roasted birds and meats; it brightens up the richer holiday gravies and creamy casseroles. A spoonful is delicious on soft scrambled eggs in a warm tortilla; tossed into a vinaigrette for salad; served with buttery biscuits or as a topping for savory pancakes and waffles. And I scraped the last bits onto a toasted bagel with a smear of cream cheese.
Fresh cranberry-ginger salsa
(Hempire Co. Holiday Recipe Contest finalist for side dish: Reign Galovin)
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh firm cranberries
4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, stems removed (and seeds, if desired)
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (from 1 small bunch)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Garnish: finishing salt, like Maldon sea salt flakes or fleur de sel (optional)
Method: Rinse cranberries and discard any that are mushy or bruised. Drain and place in the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times until cranberries are coarsely chopped (and not puréed). Tip chopped cranberries into a medium bowl and stir in green onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine. Let sit 10 minutes. Taste and add more lemon juice, sugar, or salt, as needed. Garnish, if desired, with some finishing salt. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to three days.