The Thanksgiving Color Up! November 25 2012

Did you notice that Thanksgiving is mostly white, brown, and beige? This year I am choosing to make the part of the meal that adds the spark of color.

I usually have the annual feast at my house but with my daughter in San Francisco and my son in Beijing I wasn’t in the mood.  I wrangled an invitation to a long-time friends’ house and that came with feeling the need to contribute to the feast.  Relegated to the edges – no turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy etc – I took up the task of the less starring food roles but also  an opportunity to add to spectrum of color.  I held out for my favorites – a cranberry relish and roasted brussel sprouts with walnuts – I like the slight crunch of the walnuts next to the slightly softer brussel sprouts.  

Notice the colors? Red and green. Colors that get big play in a couple of weeks.

CRANBERRY RELISH

  • One orange preferably Valencia
  • 16 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar or to taste

I buy the cranberries almost anywhere and in any form – bagged or boxed.  Since these little morsels are born in New England not far from my house, I know they are fresh.

 

I use a cuisinart to chop both the cranberries and the orange.  I have a bias for Valencia oranges because those are the variety that grew around my house when I was a child in California and because I like their lemony orange flavor.

I begin with the orange and I mash it quite a bit.

Next I add the cranberries.  I stop and start the cuisinart and try to make the chunks into about 1/4 inch pieces.
I finally add the sugar mixing it into the chopped fruit.  The sugar will melt and form some liquid.
Because I am use to putting things in jars, I put the cranberry sauce in canning jars and store them in the refrigerator where they can last at least a month.
 

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH WALNUTS

  • 2 lb brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350

Trim the brown end off of the brussel sprouts and cut in half if very large or leave whole. Blanch in boiling water for 3 – 4 minutes.  Remove from water and place in baking pan with walnuts.  Drizzle olive oil over the vegetable and nuts and toss so that both are covered with the oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven.  

Shake the pan after 10 minutes cook for 10 more and toss again.  

When complete here’s how it looks.