We’re finally enjoying some cold weather, and looking forward to the holidays. This is a great time to hit the farmers market, when there are so many more interesting offerings than during the dry, hot summer months. Here’s a salad plate I made for my husband (trying to offer him something healthy after one of his bike rides), using some leftover duck confit, espresso-rubbed cheese, and seasonal produce from the farmers market. Pretty, isn’t it?
There’s watermelon radishes, pomegranate arils, arugula sprouts, and dried figs:
and persimmons, baby mustard greens with a sweet lemon vinaigrette, and slivers of candy-striped chioggia beets:
We only recently discovered the fuyu persimmons, and we’re crazy about them. When they’re first ripe, they’re firm and crunchy, with a taste like a combination of apple and carrot. As they ripen, they become slightly softer, but develop this wonderful sweet honey-like flavor.
This year, for the first time since 1918, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap, with the second night of Hanukkah falling on Thanksgiving. This won’t happen again until November 27, 2070. Just for fun, I made some “Hanukkah cookies” to celebrate what is being dubbed “Thanksgivukkah.” I added chopped blue maraschino cherries and a little almond extract to shortbread cookie dough.
These cherries are REALLY blue
I dipped the edges in melted white chocolate, then dipped the coated edge in blue and white sparkling sugar.
Cherry Almond Shortbread cookies for Hanukkah
If I made these again, I’d probably brush the entire circumference of the cookie with a thin coat of white chocolate and then dip the edges in the sparkling sugar. I think that would be a prettier cookie. I might give it a try with red and green cherries and sugars for Christmas.
Although I’m not cooking for Thanksgiving this year, I couldn’t let the holiday pass without making a batch of Fresh Cranberry Relish. I was introduced to this recipe by my mother-in-law, and I love the freshness of the ingredients and the sweet/tart pop of flavor, not to mention the beautiful color it adds to the Thanksgiving plate. I like to process each ingredient separately, but my husband’s family processes them all together. I also tend to prefer mine a little sweeter than they do. The beauty of the relish is that it is easily adaptable to everyone’s personal taste.
- l large Honeycrisp apple (or favorite apple), cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium orange, seeded and coarsely chopped, including peel
- ½ pound fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup pecans, or to taste
- ⅓ cup sugar, or to taste
- Place apple in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Transfer apple to a medium bowl. Repeat with orange, cranberries, and pecans, processing each separately and then transferring to bowl with apple. Add sugar and mix until all ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.