Using Your Preserves

January 20, 2011

The other night I went down to the basement to collect the laundry and heard an eerie groan. I did my best not to conjure up images of The Blair Witch Project and instead put my basket down and bravely craned my head toward the sound. It was coming from the pantry. As I moved closer I discovered that no, a subterranean spirit was not lurking in the corner. The source was our poor pantry shelves straining under the weight of all our preserves.

I exaggerate, of course, but after a long summer of 'putting up' many of us find that our beloved jars end up gathering dust faster than we can crack a seal. There are only so many PB&Js you can eat, so many pieces of toast thickly draped in our jams. So I abandoned all sweet inspirations and started to think savory: marinades, vinaigrettes, glazes, chutneys...

Here are a few quick ideas to start savo

Savory Sauces
Have preserved cherries? We further reduced our Cherries in Red Wine and served the sauce with duck and a roast pork loin. We did the same with our preserved figs, too!

Berry Vinaigrettes
Everyone has some sort of berry jam. Try mixing a bit into a basic vinaigrette or even a Dijon Garlic Vinaigrette. We like our Berry Vinaigrette simply tossed with arugula or baby spinach.

Fruity Glazes
Brush this tasty Apricot Glaze onto chicken or pork. Don't have apricot preserves? Substitute any fruit!

Make a quick chutney
Just mix some of your preserves with a bit of acid (vinegar, lemon or lime juice), a dash of mustard, a pinch of salt, and voilá! a quick and delicious chutney.

Pair Preserves with Cheese
Fruit preserves pair beautifully with cheese! Blue cheeses, Brie, sharp Cheddars, mmm...



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