Make Ahead

No-Cook Cranberry Salsa

November  2, 2009
4 Ratings
  • Serves 1 quart
Author Notes

I'd never thought about cranberry salsa as a compliment to my Thanksgiving menu until putting together the November issue of Working Mother magazine. One of the recipes in our featured cookbook, How to Cook a Turkey and All the Other Trimmings (Tauton Press 2007), was eye-opening for two main reasons: 1) uncooked cranberries when properly balanced with more than just a ton of sugar are bright in flavor and fun in texture and 2) it gains big points for not monopolizing an already busy stove top. I 86'd the pears to let the cranberries be the star and nixed the chilies too to keep it kid friendly. And what would salsa be without a splash of fresh lime juice? The real secret here, though, is agave nectar. Unlike honey which is more pungent tasting, agave nectar adds a creamy sweetness to temper the tart nature of cranberries. This dish only gets better with time, so plan on making it two days in advance. —Jennifer Perillo

What You'll Need
  • 1 bag cranberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • freshly squeezed juice of one orange
  • freshly squeezed juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Add cranberries to the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well mixed. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Best served two days later, so this requires advance planning but the pay-off is a delicious no-cook condiment.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mrslarkin
  • crispywaffle
  • Food Blogga
    Food Blogga
  • lastnightsdinner
  • Jennifer Perillo
    Jennifer Perillo
Jennifer Perillo is the Consulting Food Editor at Working Mother magazine, and a regular a contributor to Relish Magazine and She shares stories about food, family and life at her blog In Jennie's Kitchen and in her debut cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen (Running Press 2013).

11 Reviews

mrslarkin November 6, 2009
yum. you had me at cilantro. now i have something else to make with the bottle of agave nectar i recently bought and have sitting in the cupboard. thank you!
Jennifer P. November 6, 2009
Agave nectar is so wonderful. I use more than honey now. It's the perfect sweetener for iced teas, lemonades and I'd like to experiment with making a lime syrup for margaritas too. I also add a dash to my vinaigrette to balance the acidity.
crispywaffle November 3, 2009
I love how fresh this sounds! With all the soft comfort food, some crunch and tart would be perfect at Thanksgiving. Am definitely trying this one -- I'll bet it would go great with pork shoulder as well. Any substitutes if I can't find agave nectar here? (I can find clear sugar syrups here, as well as delicate honey, but have not seen agave.)
Jennifer P. November 3, 2009
Honey is a fine substitute for agave nectar, though you will notice a difference in taste. Hope you enjoy it too!
eawnyc November 3, 2009
Having never made a Thanksgiving before (this year (and as a non meateater) this sounds like the perfect recipe to add to the table . How many chiles?
Jennifer P. November 3, 2009
When it comes to chilies, I always say go with what you like it. Cranberries are pretty hardy and can stand up to the spice.
Food B. November 2, 2009
I love the idea of fresh cranberries! This would be delicious on grilled shrimp too.
Jennifer P. November 3, 2009
Creative C. November 2, 2009
Beautiful; just started using agave nectar for sweetener (OK, for margaritas!) and do love the difference it makes so will have to try this. I might have to add chiles though; my worrying about kid friendly recipes are not a priority right now as I'm between empty nest and grandparent stage!
Jennifer P. November 3, 2009
Agree on the chilies, and next time, I'll probably divide the batch and add chilies to half of it.
lastnightsdinner November 2, 2009
This looks fabulous - love the chunky texture!