Okay, the cranberries are in it, the walnuts on top, but you get the general idea!
Serene of the (recently launched!) Mom Food Project sent in her favorite jell-o salad that sounded pretty yummy from the get-go. Actually, she described it as “strange and delicious.” I think she’s right.
2 1.4-oz boxes Raspberry Gelatin
1 c boiling Water
1 16-oz can Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce
1/2 c diced Celery
1 c Greek Yogurt
1/2 c chopped Walnuts, optional
Combine the gelatin and water in a mixing bowl and stir until the powder dissolves. Chill until viscous but not firm. [In other words, don’t be in a hurry, stick it in the freezer and forget about it for an hour. But if you do, let it sit at room temperature for a while and stir with a whisk. Proceed as if you didn’t just screw it up.]
Stir in the cranberry sauce, celery and yogurt until fairly uniform, adding in the nuts if you’re using them. Divide into 4 single-serving molds or or larger bowl or mold and chill until firm.
After Serene told me about this one I was curious but having to talk myself through it, too. Celery? Not the first thing I think of with the sweet. But, you know, you top celery with peanut butter and raisins, and that’s tasty. And then there’s the fruited chicken salad–it’s borderline sweet and it’s got celery in it, too! Okay, we’re good with the celery.
Originally the reference recipes I found called for sour cream. That was a no-brainer for me: Greek yogurt is just as tasty, has less calories and is naturally fat-free. And the walnuts are only optional because Todd’s allergic. In fact, I’d suggest you hold off on the nuts if you’re taking this to a pot-luck or serving guests who may have unknown allergies just because it’s so common. I did put them on the top/side of my portion and they really did add quite a lot to the flavor of the dish.
The name amuses me, and it’s my improvisation on the very boring (yet descriptive) Cran-Raspberry or Cranberry-Raspberry titles I was finding around the web. If you have a wordy crowd you could even go so far as to call it the Rasp-en-Crantz Salad with Gilded-nuts (and actually gild the walnuts). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? From Hamlet?
Oh, and I needed a garnish for the photo and all we had that looked right was cilantro. Even though it was just laying on top, a couple of bites featured a bit of the flavor of the garnish and I’ll be damned if it didn’t taste pretty good. And I’m not the biggest fan of cilantro even in the foods it’s SUPPOSED to be on. Go figure? I wouldn’t suggest chopping some up and adding it with the celery, but a chiffonade sprinkled over the top along with a little extra Greek yogurt might be just the thing to elevate this molded salad in the taste buds of others, as it did mine!
I’ve still got spaces open for more gelatin desserts! Leave ’em in the comments! There could even be prizes involved…