“Out of the Can” Ways to Use Pickles and Preserves

By: Carole-Ann
February 15, 2013

You did everything right. You spent the summer preserving, pickling and canning to make the most of our too-short harvest season.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got an aesthetically pleasing wall of preserves, but you’re getting a bit weary of eating dilly beans, pickles, syrupy pears and peaches and jam at every meal.

I’ve been trying to be more creative to find ways to enjoy my preserves so I can ensure they’re all used up when the warm weather returns.

Here are some “out-of-the-can” ideas to incorporate preserves into the food and drinks you love:

  1. Drink It: The proudly Made-In-Canada Bloody Ceasar benefits from using pickles, dilly beans or pickled asparagus as a dazzling accoutrement instead of boring old celery. You can even throw a tablespoon of the pickle brine into the drink for some extra zing.
  2. Drizzle It: There are lots of things you can do with jam besides spread it on toast. I have some “failed jam” in my cupboard that’s just too watery to put on bread. It seems I’m not alone. Blogger Seasonal Ontario Food had the same problem and she came up with tons of great solutions like mixing the liquid with fizzy water, pouring it over ice cream or yogurt and using it to sweeten smoothies.
  3. Roll It: Pickled carrots, radishes (typically asian radishes) and onions are perfect in in Vietnamese Salad Rolls. Thinly julianne the pickled goodies and put inside a rice wrapper along with the traditional stuff like vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts and basil.
  4. Dress It: Sweet or spicy chutney like mango or apricot is perfect when mixed into a salad dressing. It  gives your greens a decidedly Indian-bent. Foodland Ontario has a recipe for Curried Rice, Shrimp and Peach Salad that uses chutney along with curry powder in the dressing. Here’s another great recipe for Warm Spinach Salad with chutney dressing.
  5. Toast It: We use Ontario’s Own’s Pear Pureé on top of waffles. You can also use preserved peaches or pears on top of your French Toast. Local blog Folks Gotta Eat features a divine looking French Toast recipe that looks stunning topped with peaches and walnuts. Of course preserved peaches or pears would make it even sweeter. Use the syrup instead of the maple variety for something a little different.
Have any creative ideas for using up your preserves or are you doing just fine eating them straight out of the jar? Please share your creative ideas with us.