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USA Enamel™

Why You Should Definitely Save Your Jar Scraps

By: Lodge Cast Iron / June 8, 2023

With a tiny bit of planning, those empty pickle and olive jars are really just an excuse to make a wonderful, briny cocktail—or even a pot of puttanesca. But there’s more: your nearly empty jars of jams, mayo, mustard, or capers could be the base for so many other recipes. Check out our chef-approved tips for using every last drop of your fridge shelf condiments.

Dirty Martini Puttanesca USA Enamel

Jellies & Jams

If you’ve got just a few teaspoons of jam or jelly left in the jar, it’s time to get creative. Add a little bit of heavy cream to the jar and shake it (a lot!) to make a fruit-infused whipped cream. Add three parts oil and one part vinegar to create the base for a great marinade, and customize with spices of your choosing. Or, follow the internet’s favorite trend and simply add seltzer to the jar, stir it up, and top it off with a straw for a lightly flavored sparkling water.

Mayo & Mustard

Rather than scraping away that tiny last bit of mayo or mustard in the jar, save the scraps for a creamy, tangy vinaigrette. Start with fresh ingredients like crushed garlic, minced chives, or chopped basil, then add salt, pepper, and any dried spice you like—this is a great time to add heat with red pepper flakes or infuse a starring-role spice like garam masala. Then, add two parts oil and one part vinegar to bind the dressing, put a lid on the jar and give it a good shake.

Dirty Martini Puttanesca USA Enamel

Olives & Pickles

Anywhere a brine goes, a pickle juice goes, too. Use the leftover olive, caper, or pickle juice in the jar to brine meats and get them extra tender. Add a dash to pasta or potato water to infuse great savory flavor to dishes in a subtle way. Add cocktail ingredients straight to the jar to make a batch of dirty martinis. And of course, top off our favorite Dirty Martini Puttanesca with a bit of the salty stuff.

Salsa & Marinara

Tomato-based sauce remnants make a great base for soups—just add some broth to the jar and give it a shake before adding to your pot. We especially love this trick to kick up a chicken tortilla soup, minestrone, or even chili. It’s a subtle and small inclusion, but it will get those jars clean—and put every bit of your grocery items to work.

Nut Butters

Everything's better with nut butter! But using the whole jar is notoriously difficult, whether you’re a crunchy peanut butter fan or an almond butter believer. Add the ingredients for overnight oats or chia seed pudding to a jar and shake it up to create a low-waste breakfast with nutty flavor. Alternately, add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil to create a peanut sauce for noodles (sriracha optional). Add some of the pasta water to make a thinner, clingier sauce that sticks to every noodle.

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Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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