Monday, August 10, 2015

What can you do with cranberries?

If you are anything like me, you associate cranberries with winter holidays - think cranberry sauce and turkey!  But after meeting with Cindy Rhodes, owner of Cape Cod Select with her husband Matt,  I learned that cranberries can be used in all seasons! And for both sweet and savory dishes! The cranberry harvesting season begins in a few short weeks. Grab the fresh ones while you can! For a year round treat, you can find Cape Cod Select berries in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Naturally tart berries are a perfect pairing for sweeter meats such as pork and turkey. Coupled with fruit such as mangoes and bananas they make a delicious smoothie. After a recent visit to Cape Cod Select cranberry bog as part of my Boston Local Food Festival guest blogger stint, I challenged myself to develop a few savory recipes using cranberries.

For the first recipe I paired cranberries with thyme to create a topping for focaccia tiles.

Using this recipe for focaccia because it had the shortest rise time, I prepared my dough.

Focaccia is a bit like pizza without the sauce - pick a few toppings and go for it! Separating my dough into sections (using these and these focaccia tiles as inspiration), I garnished my sections with caramelized onions, mozzarella and dill Havarti cheese, cranberries with thyme, and tomatoes with basil.

After baking for 25 minutes, everything caramelized a bit on the top and the edges became golden brown.

 Cut into squares or strips and enjoy!

For the second recipe, you can use fresh, frozen or dried cranberries to create an Edamame chickpea cranberry salad. I tested this recipe before visiting Cape Cod Select so I only had dried berries on hand. I can't wait to make this using fresh or frozen cranberries!

Edamame chickpea cranberry salad
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup frozen edamame steamed according to package
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup cranberries (dried or  fresh halved or frozen thawed and halved)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Mix it all together. Let it sit for about 20 mins.

For more about local cranberries from Cape Cod Select visit the Boston Local Food Festival blog! For recipes from the cranberry experts, check out the Cape Cod Select website and Facebook page!

Content for this post was provided by Karyn Novakowski, Farm to School Project Director and PEP Nutrition Education Coordinator.

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