Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cranberry-Fig Relish

It really wouldn't be November without making some sort of cranberry condiment.  I like this relish since it works well on the Thanksgiving table, but need not be confined to the holidays; it is equally great as a sandwich spread any day of the week.

  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup vegan dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed vegan brown sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped and toasted pecans
1. Combine the orange juice, figs, and wine in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the sugar, brown sugar, and cranberries.  Continue to cook over medium heat for 10 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and the cranberries have popped, stirring occasionally.  It's a shame that I only have photos up on this blog, because what you really need for this recipe is the audio - the beautiful sound of cranberries popping like popcorn in the pan.  But here's what they look like at the beginning of the process:

3. Let the mixture cool slightly, then stir in the pecans.  Cover and chill until ready to serve (and don't forget that the relish will continue to thicken as it cools).

Note: if you prefer your pecans crunchy, don't stir them in until the last minute, even though you can prepare the rest of the relish a few days before serving.

As mentioned, the relish is absolutely delicious on sandwiches in place of jam - try it with Tofurky and Tofutti cream cheese:

Or with Tofurky and horseradish:

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (1/4 cup), Calories 128 

Tasting Notes:
Easily one of the best cranberry sauces I've ever had, whether store-bought or homemade.  Exactly sweet enough, with delicious elements of surprise from the figs and deep red wine flavor.  And that's just the relish on a spoon by itself.  Add it to a sandwich and oh my goodness.  It was the grown up version of cream cheese-and-jelly sandwiches I used to have as a kid.  With horseradish, you get a wonderful mix of piquant and sweet.  A "4," therefore, for the relish alone, but skyrocketing into "5" territory if you use it as a sandwich spread.


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