Cranberry Relish with Hibiscus and Fennel

Cranberry Relish with Hibiscus and Fennel

There is simply no canned substitution for this sauce. Cranberry sauce tends to be polarizing at the thanksgiving table. Some people like it, others do not. One thing any mouth can agree on is the need for acidity to balance the rich buttery food on the rest of the table. Wine can work as well.  I admire the first people who refused a table without it. Adjust this viscosity to your liking. The colder it is served, the thicker it will be. We prefer ours served at room temp. 

Another important thing to note: This can be prepared days ahead. And will not require a single pan or pot on the big day.


Servings: 4-8

Source: Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef's Garden



  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 saché of tea
  • 1 small package petite fennel fronds
  • 1 small package cranberry hibiscus leaves
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, combine sugar cornstarch and water until sugar and starch dissolves.
  • Add cranberries, 1 tea bag, the orange juice and cook until they burst (10 minutes). Remove from heat and remove the tea bag.
  • Add the orange zest and a pinch of salt. Let the relish cool completely.
  • Chop half of the fennel and half of the hibiscus. Add the chopped herbs to the relish.
  • Transfer to a resealable container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Garnish with the remaining fennel and hibiscus leaves just before serving. 


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