Grapefruit, Green Apple, and Cranberry Relish

The Ultimate Compliment for the Thanksgiving Turkey

If there's anything to be more thankful for on Thanksgiving, it would be that we don't have to eat that molded cranberry jello concoction that comes in a can.

Oh, I know; there are plenty of people who really love that stuff--even a few in my own family--but with the availability of fresh cranberries, a handful of ingredients, and 10 minutes of your time, you can cook up a much more complex, refreshing, and infinitely more delicious relish. This recipe will have you singing its praises well past the holiday feast and on through the weekend, as you slather it on leftover turkey sandwiches or eat it straight from the jar.

And, you can feel good about eating cranberries, too, as long as you go easy on the sugar. One of the few fruits native to America, cranberries are a natural for the Thanksgiving table since they thrive in cooler temperatures and interestingly, pair well with wild meats. While we think of them in the culinary realm, they're also healthy. Cranberries rank at the top of the list for healthiest foods and have plenty of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and they were once prized for their medicinal properties.

This year, instead of opting for my usual cranberry relish incorporating satsumas and pears, I decided to rummage through the fruit bin and go with green apples and grapefruit, all with spectacular results. This recipe is refreshing and with warm spices, Myer lemon zest, and a hint of black pepper, the perfect foil for a maple brined turkey roasted to perfection.

Mel's Green Apple, Grapefruit, and Cranberry Relish
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 grapefruits; segments only; chopped
2 T of sugar (or, more if you'd like it less tart)
3 star anise pods
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon finely minced rosemary leaves
1 T freshly grated Myer lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Wash cranberries and put in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the chopped apple, grapefruit (and any juices from the grapefruit) and the sugar.
3. Cook until the cranberries pop and melt into the fruit (but--don't overcook; you want contrasts in texture)
4. Wrap the anise and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and add to the mixture; continue simmering for 5 minutes.
5. Remove the spices in cheesecloth and dispose.
6. Stir in the minced rosemary leaves and Myer lemon zest; season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
7. Store in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature prior to serving.


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