This is my favourite Christmas side. It goes great with turkey or roast duck. But it’s also excellent on aubergines, halloumi, chicken or pork shoulder. It stretches from typical American to French and Middle Eastern. Anywhere where you need some warm, sticky, fruity second fiddle.
- 1 cup shelled walnuts, whole, halved or crumbled
- 1 cup dried cranberries*
- 1 onion, diced finely
- 1 tbsp olive oil*
- 1 tbsp sweetener: pomegranate molasses, agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 garlic clove
- (optional) herbs: 1/4 cup minced cilantro or parsley
- (optional) 1 tbsp spice — I use equal parts fenugreek, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon (about 1/2 tsp each). You can also use couscous or middle-eastern spice mix.
- (optional) 1/2 cup cooked veg — aubergines, zucchini, sweet peppers, sweet potato, etc. It’s a great way to use up leftovers or hide some veggies.
- (optional) 1/2 cup cooked beans — red kidney beans or chickpeas. This makes it almost a main.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Place the onions in the olive oil and cook over low heat until translucent, or about 5 minutes.
Add dried fruit, walnuts, and broth, and mix well. Cook on low until it evaporated all liquid, about 10 minutes.
Take off the heat. Add the spice mix, minced garlic, sweetener and herbs—season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and let stand for 10 minutes before serving*.
- I bet dried apricots, figs, dates, or other sweet, chewy, and vaguely middle-eastern dried fruit would work here.
- Instead of olive oil, you can also use bacon fat or molten bacon crumble.
- It can stand for hours outside of the refrigerator, and you can eat it hot or cold. So it makes it a great prep, make-ahead, picnic or potluck dish.