Tippy's Cranberry Salsa

Tippy’s fresh Cranberry Salsa looking like a bowl of spicy winter in a bowl by David Swenson and on tiles by Forrest Lesch-Middelton.


Exactly 13 years ago, I found this recipe for Cranberry Salsa in the corner of an ad in a cooking magazine.  I wish I kept that page rather than writing it down at the time, so you would believe me when I say it looked as if it wasn’t supposed to be found.  The ad was visual overload, including larger and more compelling recipes for the holidays, but it was an ad for crackers, and I often wonder if they just had to fill space and threw this recipe in there at the last moment.  Truly, who eats salsa on crackers?  (And if you do, you should stop that right now.)

That year, and every single year since, I’ve made this salsa.  If I forget about the salsa, someone strongly reminds me I had better make the salsa.  A friend actually apologized while requesting “my” recipe, treating it as if it were a temple secret only available to my inducted offspring.  I didn’t have the heart to admit it came from a cracker ad circa 2002.  

Cranberry Salsa

It’s fresh!  It’s got a bit of heat! And it’s pretty healthy for a winter food.

12 ounces fresh cranberries

1 small jalapeño, seeded

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 cup sugar

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced an inch or two up into the greens

In a food processor, pulse jalapeno, cilantro, grated ginger, lime juice, and sugar until the texture is fairly smooth, but not quite pesto consistency.  Add the cranberries and pulse until pieces are consistent in size and resembling the texture of pickle relish. Pour into a bowl and fold in sliced onions.  Serve with tortilla chips.


  • Green onion slices are considerably more successful than green onion chopped bits.  Don’t be tempted to pour them into the food processor. 
  • You may omit the sugar or substitute it with agave if you wish, but it serves a purpose in this dish beyond sweetening.  It macerates the cranberries, which in turn, creates a ruby-colored glaze that I swear makes people fall in love with this salsa they never heard of before.
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