Rock-Your-World Cranberries

November 20th, 2013 · 39 Comments · Sides, Salads, Soup, Thanksgiving

I feel like I’ve been dancing around this one for a few posts now — I keep alluding to the mysteriously adventurous cranberry sauce that includes ingredients some Thanksgiving traditionalists (read: My Mom) might categorize under “newfangled:” Ginger, mint, raw, fresh cranberries. (We’ve never been a molded-from-a-can family, but we have definitely been in the boil-them-down-to-jelly camp.) The recipe, Cranberry-Orange Relish, is from Bon Appetit‘s Andrew Knowlton, and offers the perfect fresh-and-bright hit on a plate piled with rich, buttery, beige-y starches. (And hopefully piled high.) Last Thanksgiving, it was so good, so necessary, that I found myself not just tolerating it for the sake of tradition, as I usually do, but actually loving it, going back for seconds, and all year long dreaming of making it again.

Related: The Official Application for Submitting a New Dish to the Thanksgiving Table.

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39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stephanie // Nov 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

    My family makes a relish very similar to this one, and it’s SO tasty! Ours is a bit simplified: bag of cranberries, whole orange (some of pith removed, and seeds, if you’re not too lazy, but nothing extreme), whole pear (cored) get buzzed in the food processor. We often add a couple of jalapenos, too. Then add enough sugar just so your mouth doesn’t entirely pucker, and it’s done! I like to make it at least a day ahead so it can sit and get all married together. So great to cut the heaviness of a Thanksgiving plate, and divine on sandwiches with leftovers!

  • 2 Karen // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I love this relish also. We add a bit of brandy the next day and have it with blue cheese and crackers.
    I’ll try the jalapenos this year!

  • 3 Molly // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    This would go amazing with a maple buttermilk custard pie. #newslettergiveaway

  • 4 Brittany // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I would love to win the Four and Twenty Blackbirds cookbook – I’m already planning to try the Salty Caramel Apple Pie for Thanksgiving! #newslettergiveaway

  • 5 Laura // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm


    This relish looks lovely. A family friend of our brings something similiar every year. It is a staple for us!!

  • 6 janet // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for all the Thanksgiving ideas this week! I’m forwarding this recipe right to my mother, the Thanksgiving cook! #newslettergiveaway

  • 7 Audrey // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm


    This looks delicious! I am going to make this!!

  • 8 SarahT // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    My in-laws (hosting Thanksgiving as always) are most certainly, jiggly, straight from the can cranberry sauce types. I’ll have to make this for a random dinner. Yum.

  • 9 Omar // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm


    I love cranberry relish – why it’s not available all year long it a mystery to me.

  • 10 Ana // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm


    Can’t wait to try this for our first Thanksgiving in our home! Thanks!

  • 11 keely // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm


  • 12 Aly M // Nov 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm


    Pie baking is my grad-school stress antidote. Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie will appear on my Thanksgiving table and simultaneously lower my blood pressure.

  • 13 Lise Metzger // Nov 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm


    I can’t wait to try this recipe; thanks for posting! Cranberry sauce is always my contribution to the Thanksgiving table if I’m not hosting myself, and I’ve never tried adding mint. Very intriguing.

  • 14 Jen // Nov 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Looks delish, but I fear there might be a family revolt if I tried to replace the jiggly stuff. Maybe I’ll do both!


  • 15 Katy // Nov 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Mmmm this looks delicious! Must try asap! #newslettergiveaway.

  • 16 A Life From Scratch // Nov 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Yea….! This could not have come at better timing. I got my assignment for Thanksgiving – cranberries! And these look lovely.

  • 17 Stefanie // Nov 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Yay pie! #newslettergiveaway

  • 18 Liz R. // Nov 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Looks delicious! #newslettergiveaway

  • 19 Leslie // Nov 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm


    I think this sounds delightful, but my family would have me drawn and quartered if I brought it to Thanksgiving dinner.

  • 20 Liila // Nov 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    That sounds delicious! #newslettergiveaway

  • 21 Susan P. // Nov 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I love making and eating cranberry-orange relish!. Every year I add something else to change it up. #newslettergiveaway

  • 22 Tess // Nov 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Bon Appetit says you can make this a day ahead of time…think that could be stretched to 2 or 3 days early?

  • 23 Adelle F. // Nov 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Mmm, I love the real deal cranberry relish (not the canned shaped stuff!). Need some new pies for the repertoire, too. #newslettergiveaway

  • 24 erinn johnson // Nov 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    We make a version this type of relish. We make a ton and then have extra to put on top of pancakes, waffles and toast for the kids, they LOVE it.


    Would love the cookbook. I have been dying to get to the shop but with four kid schedules to juggle what I am looking to do takes a seat on the back burner! One of these days…

  • 25 Carolyn Lamberson // Nov 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm


    I love leftover cranberry sauce the next day, slathered on a slice of baguette with a hunk of Brie. Not sure how this relish will work with Brie, but I’m willing to try it.

    As for the the cookbook? Yes, please.

  • 26 Melissa K // Nov 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I love cranberries and oranges. Mint and ginger sound like excellent flavors to add. I might have to add this to the menu this year. Of course I’ll still make the usual cranberry sauce too since it’s ok to add to the menu but not ok to remove the ‘regulars’ from the menu.

    Love your cookbook and the blog. Thanks for the new ideas.


  • 27 Katie // Nov 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I love cranberry orange relish! My family has made this every year since I was a child (we usually just follow the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag!) I might see if I can convince my family to try this one!! #newslettergiveaway

  • 28 Amy Sue // Nov 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    My Aunt in Orrville is a friend of one of your family members. She is the one who originally recommended your blog to me and I am so glad she did. Love your book, recipes and all your recommendations!

  • 29 Rosie // Nov 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I dog-eared this recipe in my issue-hoping to try it this year as it looks great.


  • 30 Rosie // Nov 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    This looks like a great recipe-i even dog-eared it in my copy at home. Hoping to try it this year.


  • 31 Mary // Nov 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I have not tried making a cranberry relish before. This sounds like a great recipe! Will have to give it a try!
    Love your cookbook!

  • 32 Ames // Nov 21, 2013 at 12:07 am

    love all the T Day posts!!

  • 33 Denise // Nov 21, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Thanks for this great recipe and the many thanksgiving related posts. The Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie book would certainly give some new recipes in my rotation for the 25+ years of the “pie-a-month prenup ” for my husband and then family ❤️…….#newslettergiveaway

  • 34 Angela // Nov 21, 2013 at 6:39 am


    Cookbook sounds amazing

  • 35 Carlinne @Cook with 2 Chicks // Nov 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I have made a cooked version of this. How refreshing to prepare it this way.

  • 36 A Life From Scratch // Nov 22, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Jenny – ok, now I’m really looking this over since I’m toying between a few cranberry recipes to make. I’m confused by your picture vs the bon appetit one – it looks like two different recipes! Did you do something different? I like your ‘look’ better ;)

  • 37 jenny // Nov 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    @A LIFE – you’re right, they do look different. I’m guessing I probably spaced out a bit while I was supposed to be “coarsely chopping” in the processor. I might’ve let the blade spin a little too long — theirs looked like they only pulsed the blade a few times. From what I remember though, it didn’t seem to detract from the flavor in any way shape or form. Delicious.

  • 38 A Life From Scratch // Nov 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks so much for the response!

  • 39 Rosie // Jan 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I made this over the weekend to accompany a smoked bone-in turkey breast that we were bringing to a friend’s potluck and you are right..this recipe is out of this world good. I am so glad to have leftovers as they went atop my greek yogurt yesterday morning and on top of my oatmeal today. Thank you!

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