10 Days of Thanksgiving: Relishes & Chutneys

Cherry-Pear Mostarda
Photo: LA Times

Fresh or canned? When it comes to cranberry sauce, I’ve never heard of a more polarizing Thanksgiving issue. Just the mere presence of the “wrong” type of sauce can send people into a tailspin. My family has always opted for the canned stuff while Bryan’s family asks that he be in charge of making fresh cranberry sauce. I like both kinds while Bryan likes neither. Isn’t it time we stopped the madness?

From chutney to relish to mostarda, there are so many ways to dress up classic cranberry sauce and keep the peace. I’ve collected five fabulous versions — think cranberry ginger chutney and cherry-pear mostarda — from Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart and Hatfield’s restaurant in L.A. Make any one of these and the only debate at your table will be who gets the last serving.

1. CRANBERRY-GINGER CHUTNEY
This chutney has added piquancy from fresh ginger and a pinch of crushed red pepper, plus more versatility than the average cranberry sauce: It dazzles on turkey sandwiches and alongside roast duck.

Sweet-and-Spicy Cranberry Sauce
Photo: 

2. PINEAPPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH CHILI AND CILANTRO
The pineapple may be unexpected, but it brings the cranberry, chili and cilantro flavors together and makes them shine.

3. CHERRY-PEAR MOSTARDA
Recipe (pictured above, right) adapted from Chefs Quinn and Karen Hatfield, co-owners of their eponymous restaurant. Dried pears can be found in most well-stocked and gourmet markets, as well as online. Pickled mustard seeds are available at select gourmet markets and online.

4. SWEET-AND-SPICY CRANBERRY SAUCE
Guests will bite into this unassuming cranberry sauce only to encounter a “whang!” from lime zest and cayenne pepper.

5. CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH DRIED FIGS
This cranberry sauce with dried Calimyrna figs has a chutney like texture. A little red wine makes the sauce rich in flavor and ruby red in color.