Cranberry pomegranate relish tastes delicious with basil cream cheese on little crostini, but I prefer it on crackers (or straight up on a spoon)! That way, I can focus on the bright, tart fruit flavor mixed with orange zest, basil and just enough Sriracha sauce to give it the perfect tang of heat. The flavor combinations in this festive fruit “tapenade” are so spectacular and it actually has a variety of uses. This would make a fabulous cranberry sauce alternative for turkey or served with oven roasted chicken breasts. Top it on a winter chicken salad. Or give as a beautiful gift, spooned into small mason jars.
If you offer the relish as a bruschetta, one skinny baguette will yield about 40-50 slices, depending on how thin you slice it. I think 1/4 inch works best to provide a stage for the cranberry pomegranate relish to still be the star.
Cranberry Pomegranate Relish
- 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries, washed
- 2 teaspoons coarse chopped fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
- Zest from one orange
- 3/4 cup pomegranate arils or seeds*
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- If serving as a bruschetta, also needed:
- 8 oz. good cream cheese or goat cheese softened
- 1/4 cup sliced and chopped basil leaves, or as desired
- 1 baguette, thin, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Note: If making bruschetta, reserve extra orange zest, pomegranate arils and basil to garnish each slice
- Place the cranberries, ginger, sugar, honey and Sriracha in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off several times till cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don't process too much.
- Add basil and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want mixture to be a bit chunky.
- Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate arils* and orange zest. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or till ready to use.
- For baguette crostinis:
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 sheet pans with foil or parchment paper, if desired for easy clean up.
- Place baguette slices on prepared pans. Brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a grind of pepper.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden, rotating pans halfway through baking time.
- For cheese topping - mix chopped basil with softened cream or goat cheese. Spread dollop onto crostinis just before ready to serve.
- Top with a tablespoon of cranberry pomegranate relish, using a fork or small slotted spoon.
- You should get about 40-50 crostinis. If you don't use them all, store in an airtight container. They can also be frozen and warmed for just a few minutes before serving.
- Deseeding a pomegranate is a breeze. Just halve the pomegranate and hold cut side down in your palm over a large bowl placed in your sink and whack it hard several times. The arils will just fall out through your fingers into the bowl. Pick out the white membrane that may fall into the bowl with the seeds.