Cranberries have always been one of my favorite little berries- full of healthy nutrients and a great tart flavor that you can mellow out with a bit of sugar- wonderful. Though I have to admit- I'm pretty sure my great love for cranberries comes from when my mom trusted me with the making of the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving when I was young. She gave me full responsibility-from sorting out any bad berries, to washing them, to heating the water and sugar (under her supervision of course) to gently adding in the cranberries....it was my pride and joy to sit down with my family at the table and have them eat (and like!) the cranberry sauce.
At the time-it seemed like such a big job- so complicated- but now, since I still relish the opportunity to make it at Thanksgiving-it seems so easy and incredibly uncomplicated. Such is life though I guess huh?
Even as easy as it is to make fresh Cranberry sauce, I saw a can of whole berry Cranberry sauce the other night, and thought "you know-I bet that could make a wonderful dip!" so I purchased it. I admit it- I was ashamed to buy it- but it was late, and I wanted dip, and just didn't want to wait the hour and a half or so to cook it, and let it cool before it would be good to use. I cheated- it happened. Lets move on.
Armed with my can of cranberry sauce, a few sprigs of rosemary that I was going to use for other dishes that night, a can of Cannelini beans (of course), and knowing that I already had garlic and sage- I headed home.
Food processor ready to go- I threw in two cloves of garlic, half a sprig of chopped rosemary, and a few leaves of sage gently torn. Then I added in the can of beans, and about half the can of cranberry sauce. I pulsed to start and then set the processor on, and added just about a tablespoon of olive oil to help the ingredients bind as well as just a pinch of salt. A quick taste once the dip had pureed together- and I wanted a bit more sage, a bit more rosemary, and I decided, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. The end result was really fantastic- a creamy, slightly sweet dip enriched with those lovely flavors of rosemary and sage and with a slight kick of hot pepper to round out the sweet. What a wonderful fall combination! Ive been eating it all week with celery sticks and its been a great addition to my afternoon snack. My one change when I make it again? Perhaps just one clove of garlic- the other flavors were so nicely blended, and the garlic became a little shocking at times-or maybe just one and a half cloves!