The Inquirer and Mirror
(Nov. 10, 2021) The Inquirer and Mirror is proud to announce the winners of its 2021 Cranberry Cooking Recipe Contest.
Thanks to our judges, I&M “Good Dish” columnist Sarah Leah Chase, and former Washington Post deputy food editor Bonnie Benwick.
Winner: Baharat Spiced Roasted Vegetables,
Cranberries and Farro – Mary Hawkes
Judges’ Comments: This recipe has a lot going for it, offering a nice jumble of textures, color and salty/sweet bits. It uses cranberry two ways (dried, juice), and it’s easily adaptable from side to entree. Although there are several components, none of them take long to prepare. The dish is vegan, gluten-free, and relatively healthful.
This dish delights the eyes and the tastebuds, with a medley of colors, flavors and textures! The sweet, salty, herby and spicy ingredients add that extra flavor kick. It is a satisfying side dish, but works equally well as a lunch—or even dinner, especially with a protein added.
1-1/4 cups chopped carrots (1/2-inch pieces)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1-1/4 teaspoons Baharat* spice blend, divided use
1 large red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup raw corn kernels (or frozen corn kernels that have been thawed)
1-1/4 cups hot cooked farro (or substitute barley, brown rice or grain of choice)
1/2 cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed
2/3 cup dried CRANBERRIES
1/3 cup pitted green olives, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup roasted and salted pepitas (or roasted and salted chopped cashews)
3 tablespoons cranberry juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Place carrots in a large bowl; drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon Baharat. Mix well. Place on a 15 x 10-inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Add bell peppers; drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and 3/4 teaspoon Baharat. Mix well and spread to a single layer. Bake 10 minutes. Stir in corn. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or just until carrots and peppers are just tender. Place mixture back into same large bowl. Add hot farro and spinach; mix well. Add cranberries, olives, cilantro and mint.
Combine dressing ingredients; drizzle over grain mixture. Mix well to combine. Place in 4 individual bowls or on a serving platter. Sprinkle with pepitas. Garnish with additional cilantro and mint, if desired. Makes 4 cups. Serves 4 as a side dish.
*If Baharat is not available, you can substitute your favorite spice blend! Or you can make your own Baharat blend by mixing 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika; 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom; 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin; 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper; 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg; 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves; and 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander.
Runner-up: Tangy Cranberry Chutney
– Barbara Estabrook
Judges’ Comments: Sweet and savory spices, shallots, plus the umami-packed Worcestershire sauce and white balsamic vinegar make this a definite upgrade from a whole-cranberry sauce. An especially nice technique in the recipe: using cranberry juice instead of water to cook down the fresh berries.
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger