5 Easy-to-Make Condiments That Will Rescue All Your Winter Leftovers
Here's the thing about winter, it's all about the scale. Summer recipes can often be simple small salads and grilled items, but roasts, soups, stews, and braises tend to serve a crowd. Which means leftovers. Leftovers are great, but sometimes they can use a little help to bring them back to life or give them a boost. Sure, there can be a casserole situation, but that just expands the leftovers into more leftovers! I prefer to make some simple long-lasting condiments to keep in the fridge for instant zhuzh on last night's pork roast or chicken and rice. Here are some of my favorites.
This Italian condiment is sort of like a chutney, but mustard-forward. It is sweet and sour and does wonders for leftover meats like poultry or pork. Whether you are layering it into a sandwich or garnishing reheated slices, this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket. During the winter months I make it with apples, pears, or even citrus; in summer I make it with stone fruits and preserve it to pull out all winter long. It also is terrific on a cheese or charcuterie board.
Get the recipe: Pear Mostarda
Lemon Scallion Dressing
I first started making this bright dressing in summer, for use on salads. But I have found it shifts into winter brilliantly! From tossing with leftover boiled or baked potatoes for a potato salad, to stirring through leftover rice, drizzling on roasted chicken or fish, or tossing with leftover steamed or sauteed greens to brighten them up, it always has a place in my fridge.
Get the recipe: Lemon Scallion Dressing
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Summer is all about pesto, made with all the abundant fresh basil or other leafy herbs. As winter starts, and those herbs become harder to find, or too expensive to use in such abundance, I shift to a pesto made with sun-dried tomatoes which keeps much longer in the fridge and is a terrific condiment for roast beef or lamb, a great way to perk up leftover pasta or rice, or even to a secret ingredient for salad dressing that works well with hardy bitter winter chicories.
Get the recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Sweet, sour, and spicy, chutneys are a wonderful way to bring basic leftovers back to life. (Think of chutneys as like a mostarda, but with a bit more kick.) You certainly can stock up on store-bought chutneys easily, but I like to make my own. Remember that heat will build as the chutney sits, so if you are making a batch to last a while, go easy on the spice initially.
Get the recipe: Jalapeno Cranberry Chutney
Making "ketchup" with a fruit other than tomato brings a versatility that is particularly welcome in winter. While I often make this with fresh in-season peaches in summer, you can make it with a 16-ounce bag of thawed and drained frozen peaches all season long. I love to use it on sandwiches, with leftover meats, or to make a glaze to put on meatloaf.
Get the recipe: Peach Ketchup