Bring on the cranberries

While everyone else eagerly awaits the pumpkin pies, cakes, cookies, breads, lattes, and everything elses, or the grand appearance of a roasted whole turkey (a dish relegated to one day out of the year in many houses), I await the arrival of fresh cranberries on the supermarket shelves. Cranberries are a wonderful fruit which can only be bought in disgusting canned or mediocre frozen form most of the year. Fresh cranberries are a versatile, full-flavor super food. Chop them up raw to make a relish for some sauted chicken or pork. Cook them with some jalapenos to make an invigorating salsa or chutney. Bake them under a cake mix in a cast-iron skillet for a sweet and tart upside-down cake (I use this recipe from Martha Stewart). I’m always looking and thinking for new ideas for cranberry salad.
I have a recipe for cranberry salad that I have developed and usually make around Christmas (it also makes a great spread for bread, will share later), but for Thanksgiving this year I wanted to try something a little different. We hadn’t had a hard freeze here in Kansas by Thanksgiving this year so I was able to use some fresh mint and rosemary from the yard, though it was raining and starting to turn to freezing rain as I snipped my herbs.

Herbed Cranberry Yogurt Salad
16oz fresh cranberries
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup yogurt (regular or Greek)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 or 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, minced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

Combine the cranberries, water, and sugar in a medium sauce pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Uncover and continue to simmer for 15 minutes or so. The longer you let it simmer the thicker and more jam-like it will be. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool. Stir the yogurt, ginger, and minced herbs into the cranberries and chill completely. I happened to dump in way too much ginger, so that measurement is an estimate and can be raised or lowered to taste.

In a festive autumn bowl

This was a great side dish for our Thanksgiving homemade pizzas!


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