I was invited to participate in a blogger recipe challenge by Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries. The challenge was to create an original recipe (drink, appetizer, side, salsa or salad) using cranberries as a featured ingredient. Cape Code Select graciously provided two large bags of their premium frozen cranberries for the recipes, but all of the opinions in this post are my own.
For many Americans, cranberries evoke nostalgia for Thanksgiving. But I enjoy the tart flavor of cranberry nearly every day in my low-calorie cran-raspberry drink. I find most standard juices too sweet to drink, so I appreciate the balance of sweet and tart that cranberry can offer. The same is true in almost any dish when cranberries are used to provide a tart, sweet balance to the other ingredients.
I decided to create a warm salad recipe that you could serve any night of the week: Roasted Asparagus & Cranberry Salad. What I really like about this recipe is there are only a few ingredients and it takes less than 5 minutes to prep the food before you pop it into the oven. Don’t the colors sing!?! The green of the firm asparagus stalks. The bright red of the cranberries. And this is before you cook the dish!
Depending on your heat source, I recommend turning the asparagus and cranberries a midway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking. You could also adapt this recipe for the grill by using a grill-safe pan or aluminum foil to hold the ingredients.
When the dish is out of the oven, you can drizzle it with the reserved garlic oil and lemon juice. Then zest a lemon on top and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and chopped pistachios. And voila! You’ve got a vibrant side dish that everyone will love.
Even up close, the dish invites you in to explore all the layers of texture. The crunch of the pistachio and cranberry. The smoothness of the Parmesan.
Here’s the glamour shot. Are you ready to sink your teeth into a sizzling salad?
With the remaining cranberries, I’m going to try next a Cranberry-Apple Crisp. Apple and cranberry balance each other so well. I have to say I was very impressed with the product quality of the Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries, which are non-GMO verified. And I was extremely pleased to discover that Cape Cod Select is a women-owned business run by the Rhodes family. The Rhodes family has been growing cranberries on their 800-acre farm in Massachusetts for more than 75 years with a focus on sustainability.
Here’s a locator to find where to buy Cape Code Select frozen cranberries near you. Or you can order frozen cranberries from Cape Cod Select online. For more cranberry recipe ideas that you can use now and throughout the fall, follow Cape Code Select on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and garlic. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture for later use.
Toss the asparagus and cranberries in the garlic oil mixture to coat. Place asparagus and cranberries on a roasting pan. Season lightly with black pepper.
Roast for 10 - 15 minutes, turning occasionally. When done, transfer to a platter. Drizzle with the reserve garlic oil and lemon juice.
Top with lemon zest, Parmesan and pistachios. Serve immediately.