Raw Cranberry Orange Relish with Ginger & Cherries

This cranberry relish may be the only thing that remains the same on our Thanksgiving table every year. My family loves to cook, so each Thanksgiving we are all assigned a dish to make. We love to research recipes for the best stuffings, or vegetable side dishes and then try to outdo ourselves with perfect versions. My husband is in charge of the turkey and does an amazing job with that. But this relish that my mother used to make for us, somehow always makes it’s way to the Thanksgiving table.

We call it “Gramma’s Cranberry Relish”. As a child I remember it’s refreshing, tart flavor as the perfect light addition to all the rich food. And if you have some left, it is perfect to spread on top of your turkey sandwich!

It is so easy to make, and it is one of those things you can make the day before. There is no exact recipe, all you really need is a food processor, a bag of cranberries, an orange and some sweetener. Sometimes we add a little cinnamon, or ginger – or maple syrup or honey instead of regular sugar. You may want to double the recipe, because you will want some leftover the next day.

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This year, I am jazzing it up a bit with some fresh ginger, cherries and cherry jam for some of the sweetness. Cranberries are amazingly refreshing and tart, but they do need some sugar. The orange lends a nice sweetness and the orange rind a nice bitterness, but it does need some more sweetener added.

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Gramma’s Cranberry Relish with Ginger & Cherries

  • 1 bag of fresh organic cranberries
  • 1 washed navel orange (cut in 6 – 8 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh red cherries (hand cut in small pieces)
  • 1 TB. of fresh grated ginger
  • 2  – 3 TB. of cherry jam
  • 1/4  cup of sugar (or to taste)
  • 3 TB. of chopped nuts as garnish – I used pistachios for color

First put the orange pieces in the food processor and pulse lightly until coarsely chopped. You may need to use a spatula to stir it around in between pulsing to get the rind minced. Add the cranberries and pulse until coarse. (I don’t grind it too much because I like texture and to taste the different ingredients separately – so don’t over pulse!)

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Transfer it to a bowl and gently stir in the sugar, jam and grated ginger. Then lightly fold in the hand cut cherries and chill the relish in the fridge. (at least 3 hours).

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You may want to put the relish into two smaller bowls to put on both sides of the table. Before serving, garnish it with some chopped nuts and orange zest. I added some cut cranberries, sliced cherries and pieces of orange to the top as decoration. (I used a small clementine for an added taste sensation instead of more orange)

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The fresh ginger and cherries were a very nice addition. This relish is so refreshing and clean tasting and such a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving table. It tastes great with the stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes and turkey and cuts the richness of the meal. I hope it becomes a family favorite for  you too!

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Enjoy, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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