Elder-Cranberry, Chipotle & Pepita Salsa 

My dear friends, Ann and Roger Lenhardt of Norms Farms, created some super tasty elderberry products that are as delicious as they are fun to play around with in the kitchen. A few autumns ago I created this “not too spicy” salsa / sauce / relish using their Elderberry Cordial and some Elderberry Jam! This recipe is predictably appropriate for this time of year (I mean…cranberries, ya know!) to serve on or with poultry or autumn vegetables. However, if you feel adventuresome, serve it up before dinner with corn chips, strips of jicama, atop some chevre or as an accompaniment to cheddar cheese. Want to find these Elderberry products? https://normsfarms.com/pages/where-to-buy

YIELD: Approximately 1 ¾ cups


2 TBLSP Walnuts or Pine Nuts
2 TBLSP Hulled Raw Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
1 cup Norms Farms Elderberry Cordial, or a little more
2 TBLSP Norm’s Farms Elderberry Jam
2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries, divided
4 tsp diced Jalapeno Pepper
1-1 ½ tsp ground dried Chipotle Pepper*
¾ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Cinnamon
2 TBLSP chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in Oil
2 TBLSP Olive Oil or oil from dried tomatoes
1 ½ tsp Orange Zest
1 Navel orange, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
Raw Pepitas for garnish


Preheat oven to 300°. Toast pumpkin seeds for 6 minutes, or until very lightly toasted. Set aside to cool. You may also sauté them in olive oil or coconut oil in a small skillet, but stirring them around and watching closely.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup Elderberry Cordial and 2 TBLSP Elderberry Jam and 1-1/3 cup washed and picked-over cranberries. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, measure into the elder-cranberry mixture the jalapeno pepper, ground chipotle (you can add more if you like it smoky and hot), sea salt and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer over medium heat for about 8 minutes until it has thickened, stirring occasionally,

Zest one orange, taste to make sure it isn’t bitter, and set the zest aside. Peel and dice the orange into ½ pieces.

Add the remaining 2/3 cup cranberries and the diced orange to the mixture over medium heat and cook until the newest cranberries pop and still hold their form, about 3 minutes. You may stir in 2 more tablespoons of Elderberry Cordial if the salsa is too thick. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Chop oil-marinated sun-dried tomatoes. Coarsely chop the nuts by hand or in the work bowl of a food processor or a mini-processor and pulse 6-8 times until roughly chopped. Stir the nuts and sundried tomatoes along with the oil and orange zest into the elder-cranberry mixture. If you like a different texture you may pulse 1/3 of the mixture in a food processor until very fine and stir into the chunkier salsa. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like. Garnish with extra pepitas.

Food Fairy Note:

This Salsa is delicious served as a snack with strips of jicama, cheddar cheese or corn chips. No doubt, dress up your turkey dinner or any main meal of poultry or salmon as well as your winter squash for something new and different. Real yummy on your leftover turkey sandwiches!

*If you can’t find already ground chipotle peppers, buy dried ones and grind them in a spice/coffee grinder or a high powered blender such as a vita-mix. Or, you may substitute canned chipotle peppers, minced and to taste.

Download this recipe as a pdf here

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