Avocado–Cranberry Salsa

Diane Harris Brown

Director of Educational and Community Programming, James Beard Foundation; New York, NY

Diane grew up in the midst of an old avocado grove in Southern California, and was raised to believe that avocados and citrus were the two basic food groups. This recipe has been adapted from chef Tom Fraker of Melissa’s, a Beard House purveyor of fine produce. Bright and spicy, it’s a creative addition to a holiday menu.


  • 2 organic yellow bell peppers
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 6 ripe avocados, diced
  • 3 jalapeños, finely diced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Roast the bell peppers directly over a high flame directly on the burner of a gas stove, turning to char all sides. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic, then set aside to cool. Once you are able to handle the peppers, peel, remove the seeds, and dice.

In a food processor, combine the cranberries and the orange juice and pulse until berries are coarsly chopped.

In a large bowl, combine the cranberry mixture, yellow peppers, avocados, jalapeños, lime juice, cilantro, and grated orange peel. Add the sugar and the cayenne and gently mix. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips or roasted or grilled meat or fish.


6 servings