Guest Post: Katie’s Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Herbed Walnuts

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With the turkey taking center stage and surrounded by so many fantastic sides, it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller Thanksgiving dishes, like cranberry sauce.

Like many of you, I grew up with the odd cranberry-sauce-in-a-can that’s like jello…but not. Now, my husband loves that stuff, so I’ll probably get a can for him, but I prefer the variety his sister Katie makes. Her version includes glazed nuts and minced herbs, a nice fresh diversion from the can! Katie’s doing a guest post today and sharing her yummy recipe. Serve this version, and it won’t be overlooked! 

*Still looking for a dressing/stuffing recipe? I’ll be back Monday with a classic: Southern cornbread dressing.

And now, here’s Katie!

Taste is a funny thing – it’s very unique to you, wholly dependent on your own experiences. Take my unabashed penchant for Apple: it was forged by thousands of Windows error messages, several cool iGadgets, and one very sleek marketing campaign.

Our taste in what’s tasty, though… well, where does that come from? It’s just there, seemingly out of thin air – we think we know the good from the bad before we even take a single bite. Sure, maybe our palates “mature” over time, but that mostly just means a gradual tolerance for tomatoes. My craving for peanut butter and pickle sandwiches sure isn’t an acquired taste. (Who would try that pairing on their own accord?) Nope, I was born with that one.

Some textures and flavors can just speak to a person. For me, the taste of rosemary says, “I am one classy dish.” Also, everything is better with crunch. That said, I give you:


Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary and Herbed Walnuts
Adapted from Bon Appetit  (Makes about 4 ½ cups)

Cranberry Sauce
36oz fresh cranberries (about 8 cups after throwing out the bad ones)
1 ½ – 2 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you want the sauce
5 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil
2 – 3 tablespoons rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon juniper berries, ground
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
½ cup dry red wine (if preferred, substitute apple cider)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Wash the cranberries, throwing out any that have turned soft.

2. In a heavy baking pan, mix all ingredients except the wine. Roast for 15 minutes. Bring the wine (or cider) to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour over the cranberries and stir. Roast for an additional fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Set the cranberries aside, but maintain the oven temperature to roast the walnuts.

Herbed Walnuts
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
½ teaspoon juniper berries, ground

4. Mix nuts, honey, and herbs together and spread evenly over a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper. Roast at 425 °F for 8 to 10 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally.

5. Once cooled slightly, break up any large clumps and add to the cranberry sauce. Mix well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

6. Both the cranberries and the walnuts can be made 2-3 days in advance, but store them separately. Mix the walnuts in the day you plan to serve the sauce so that they don’t lose their crunch.