Look, we’re all about holiday classics but using cranberries only for cranberry sauce is just a little too predictable in our book. We like to put them in cranberry recipes ranging from cocktails to salads using Thanksgiving leftovers and even in our holiday appetizers.
This Spiced Cranberry Relish Toasts With Whipped Goat Cheese recipe appetizer is one that’s ranking high on our holiday hit list right now because it’s make ahead and a super unexpected twist on the classic cranberry flavors. Spiced wine and maple syrup combine with cranberries and then, just before serving, some red onion and jalapeños are stirred in for a spicy, spiced situation that’s spooned over toasts topped with whipped goat cheese. And, yes, it’s as good as it sounds!
Mulled Wine Spiced Cranberry Salsa Recipe
For The Crostini:
- 1 French (aka sweet) baguette thinly sliced into 24 pieces
- Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing on bread
For The Cranberry Salsa:
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup Pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup fresh clementine, or mandarin, or tangerine juice
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- Zest of 4 medium mandarin oranges or 1 orange
- 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries sliced
- Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium jalapeño ends trimmed, seeded, and small dice
- 1/2 medium red onion small dice
For The Whipped Goat Cheese:
- 8 ounces fresh goat cheese (aka chevre) room temperature
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- Bake The Crostini: Heat an oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush the bread slices with some of the extra olive oil and toast in the oven until the slices are crisp and golden brown. When the crostini are toasted, rub them with garlic until it dissolves into the toast then drizzle each toast with the remaining oil and a pinch of salt.
- Make The Cranberry Salsa: Bring wine and maple syrup to a boil in a wide shallow pan and reduce by two-thirds until the mixture is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Add the orange juice and boil for another 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, orange peel, and cranberries and cook for just two more minutes then immediately remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl and place in the refrigerator.Chill mixture until cranberries are cool and they absorb the wine flavors, at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Before serving, stir in the jalapeño and red onion and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. TIP: Cranberry salsa can be made up to two days ahead — store refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Make The Whipped Goat Cheese: When ready to serve using an electric mixer beat the goat cheese and heavy cream or milk together until light and fluffy. Toast brioche and spread whipped goat cheese on and top and spoon over cranberry relish and serve.TIP: Whipped goat cheese can be made up to two days ahead — store refrigerated in an airtight container. Let it at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving so that it's spreadable.