Raisins add indispensable flavor and richness to savory dishes.

Raisins are not glamorous like pomegranates or clementines. Nor are they delicate and romantic like raspberries, figs or dried cherries. But they are probably the hardest working dried fruit around. Not only are they great on their own, they add an indispensable flavor and richness to savory dishes. In fact, I would argue they shine best in savory entrees. They provide the sweet counterpoint to savory dishes such as Chicken Quarters with Raisins, Tomato and Thyme and Savory Leek, Ricotta and Raisin Tart (both listed below.) You can even use them in holiday sidesóBrussels sprouts with bacon and raisins are particularly delicious. We love the jumbo light and dark raisin medley and the golden ones, which are, indeed, a bit exotic.

Explore the different varieties of raisins in our Recipe Contest. We're asking folks to come up with quick and easy recipes that contain at least 1/2 cup of raisins before December 31st 2012. The winner will receive a $1000 visa gift card, a trip to the Relish offices in Nashville, Tenn., and see his or her winning recipe featured in Relish Magazine and on Relish.com. Now that's pretty glamorous.

óJill Melton, Editor