Ocean Spray Recipe Contest 2011
For those who don’t know, I was a finalist in the 2011 Ocean Spray Cranberry Recipe Contest. The contest was held for foodservice professionals (chefs, etc) and had over 300 entries from across the nation. I created a Holiday Caprese Salad recipe and was one of the final 4 contestants from across the nation to be named as a finalist. As a finalist, Ocean Spray sent us out to Boston to compete and enjoy a weekend on them. So although I didn’t win the $10,000 grand prize, I’ll take a $3000 trip as a constalation prize. . . especially for a recipe that only took me 1 hour to put together.
Here is the recipe . . .
1 cup olive oil
1 cup Ocean Spray® 100% Juice Cranberry Blend
1/2 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 ounces fresh basil, 2 leaves set aside for garnish
2 ounces sliced almonds 1/2 ounce fresh mint, 3 leaves set aside for garnish
Dash salt and pepper
3 cups Ocean Spray® 100% Cranberry Juice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large beefsteak tomato
1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
Reserved basil and mint leaves, garnish
To Make Pesto:
Combine all pesto ingredients in food processor. Process on high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth.
To Make Cranberry-Nutmeg Reduction:
Pour cranberry juice into medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until reduced to thin syrup consistency. Add nutmeg; stir until blended.
Slice tomato into 4 or 5 even slices; cut each slice in half. Slice cheese the same way. Stack basil and mint leaves together; roll tightly into a cylinder and thinly slice.
Spoon about 1/2 cup pesto onto each serving plate, spreading to cover. Top each with alternating slices tomato and cheese. Garnish with dried cranberries, basil and mint. Drizzle Cranberry-Nutmeg Reduction evenly over each serving.
Makes 4 servings.
2011 Ocean Spray Foodservice Ultimate Cranberry Recipe Contest Finalist Shawn Bucher