To me, fresh cranberries are the essence of the holiday season. Their red hues are perfect complements to the reds, oranges and yellows of their seasonal compatriots, apples and squash. In contrast to the beguiling sweetness of late summer’s melons and stone fruit, their tartness can catch you unexpectedly like a cold gust of early winter wind. Cranberries can even look like the season — sprinkle some sugar on them, and they resemble holly berries under a dusting of snow.
What I most love about cranberries, however, is how their flavor pairs so beautifully with many classic holiday dishes. Cranberries are the perfect accompaniment to turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas, and brisket on Hanukkah. (For every other day of the year, cranberries are sublime served alongside sautéed or roasted chicken.) Read More