Cranberry, Pear, & Orange Relish

Cranberries, pears, and oranges shine in this healthy-and-delicious Thanksgiving side.

The leaves are down, the wind is blowing, and the fireplace is getting a workout. But for me, November is just a lead-in to the food holiday of the year—Thanksgiving.

One of my all-time favorite seasonal side dishes is a Cranberry, Pear, and Orange Relish. It gooses a turkey, makes a ham shine, and dazzles alongside a cornbread stuffing. And it’s even better for leftovers—combine it with sliced turkey, sliced avocado, and watercress between two pieces of multi-grain bread, and you have a healthy sandwich that delivers maximum pleasure.

did you know … Fruits are a terrific and healthy companion to savory dishes. They add flavor without adding fat—and you can impress your guests with your gourmet flair!

3 cups (6 servings)


  • 2 12-oz. bags fresh cranberries
  • 3 semi-ripe pears, preferably Comice or D’Anjou
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • ¼ cup organic honey
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger


  1. Rinse cranberries, and place in heavy saucepan. Peel and core pears with sharp knife, then cut into half-inch dice. Toss with lemon juice.
  2. With vegetable peeler, remove rind from one orange with a shallow cut, being careful to take only the orange part, not the white pith underneath. Using very sharp knife, cut ring strips crosswise into a thin julienne. Measure out 2 Tbs., and discard the rest.
  3. Cut away pith from peeled orange, and entire rind from remaining orange. Working over a bowl, cut segments from both oranges between membranes, allowing segments and juices to fall into bowl.
  4. Add julienned rind, orange segments, and juice to saucepan with cranberries. Add pears, honey, sugar, and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until cranberries soften, about 15 minutes.
  5. When cranberries are soft but still mostly intact, increase heat to medium-high, and boil, stirring constantly, 3–4 minutes, until some liquid is reduced and relish reaches desired consistency.
  6. Remove from heat and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.