Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holy Cranberries, Martha! It’s a Holiday Salsa
What’s cooking? Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa

The Kitchen Goddess is ever on the lookout for a good recipe. Last weekend, in the middle of the shopping and the wrapping and the constant effort to remember what I still have to buy, a little Christmas miracle came my way.

I was wandering through Williams-Sonoma looking for a gift, and one of the salespeople was helping me. After a while, it became clear that they didn’t have what I needed, even though she knew exactly what I was looking for. So as I was thanking her for her efforts, another store employee came up to us and said to her, “I wanted to thank you for bringing that great cranberry salsa to the party. It was delicious!”

My ears perked up. “Cranberry salsa?” I said. “You have a cranberry salsa? That sounds really good. Can I get the recipe? And do you serve it with chips?” Yes, yes, and yes.

And that is how I came to find this delightfully colorful, delectably festive salsa that you will want to serve to those friends who drop by during the holidays, or the folks waiting around for Christmas dinner to be served, or maybe just to yourself and your spouse as you address your holiday cards. It satisfies all of your taste buds – a slightly sweet, salty, tart combo of flavors, with a hint of heat and a bit of crunch from the berries. It takes almost no time to prepare because most of the action happens in your food processor. (Ok, there’s a little work: the lime zesting and the ginger grating and the jalapeño seeding. We must suffer a tiny bit for art.)

So here it is – from her to me to you. Happy holidays!

Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa

Adapted from a recipe by Julia at Williams-Sonoma at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey.

Makes about 3 cups.

1 bag fresh cranberries
juice and zest from 2 limes
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 large jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed), diced*
4 green onions (white and light green parts only), sliced
1 bunch cilantro (about 1½ cups), roughly chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt*
½ cup sugar*

Put all but the sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the salsa reaches a consistency you like.

Remove the salsa to a bowl, stir in the sugar, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

Kitchen Goddess note: As with most dishes, this one can be made more or less sweet, more or less salty, or with more or less heat. You may want to add some of the salt and taste before you add it all. Same with the sugar. A restaurateur friend tells me the heat of a jalapeño comes from the ribs, so if you want more heat, leave some or all of the ribs in. And whether or not you do, be sure to wear rubber gloves when working with jalapeños.


  1. Sounds good! I will be making your cranberry sauce, yet again this year, to take to Christmas dinner with friends. Wishing you and yours the best Christmas ever!
    Eileen in Atlanta

  2. Oh, that cranberry sauce is amazing, isn't it? But I think you'll really like this salsa. I've been trying to hang onto it for Xmas day when the family shows up, but it's very tempting to sneak some now and then. ;-)

  3. This one is for me! Bet even I could make it.

    1. A smart woman like you, Paula? Absolutely. Merry Christmas!