Instead of throwing out the leftover food in your fridge because you are not sure what to do with it, why not get creative and look at the art of preserving food? You can use almost anything in your fridge to make a wide variety of chutneys, jams and condiments, ensuring leftover foods don’t go to waste. We’ve started you off with three different recipes here, but there is a whole wide world of preserving out there, so check out wellpreserved.ca, foodinjars.com and punkdomestics.com for more  recipes and inspiration.

Tomato, Onion & Apple Chutney

Ingredients:
6 quarts  Tomatoes, peeled and sliced
3 lbs        Onions, peeled and sliced
3 lbs        Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cups     Sugar
2 cups     White vinegar
2 tbsp     Pickling spice (in spice ball or cheese cloth)
………      Coarse salt

Directions:
In a non-reactive container (stainless steel, glass or plastic), place 1 layer of tomato slices, 1 layer of onion slices and 1 layer of apple slices.  Sprinkle approximately ½ tsp of coarse salt on top of the three layers.  Repeat the three layers and salt again.  Continue layering until all the tomatoes are used.  Then cover and let stand overnight (no need to refrigerate).

Next day, drain as much liquid as possible then place in a heavy bottomed stainless steel pot on the stove.  Add the sugar, vinegar, pickling spice and bring to a boil while being careful not to let it stick.  Turn down the heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the onions and apples are soft, stirring occasionally.  While the mixture is simmering, check to make sure that it is salty enough.  Once the apple and onions are soft, remove the spice ball (or cheese cloth) with the pickling spice and discard the spices.  Put the chutney into sterilized quart jars and seal them.  Let them cool and store in a cool place.

This recipe makes five to six 1 quart jars and can be used right away but improves when aged a week or two.  Delicious with all kinds of food but it is especially good with pork chops or pork roast.

Note: The best way to peel tomatoes is to scald them first with boiling water for 30 seconds and then peel them. Wear gloves!

Aubergine  Eggplant

Ingredients:
4¼ cups    Water
4¼ cups    White wine vinegar
3 tbs           Kosher salt
2¼ lbs      Eggplant
1-2 tbs       Dried oregano
1-2             Red chili peppers, sliced
4 cloves    Garlic, coarsely sliced
1 cup          Sunflower oil
1 cup          Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Combine water, vinegar and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil.
2. Remove the green end of each eggplant. Slice in half lengthwise, then cut across into 1/2” slices. Cut slices into 1/2” batons. Add to boiling brine for 3 minutes. If they float, keep re-submerging them with a spoon.
3. Combine oregano, chile, garlic and both oils. Drain eggplant and add to oil mixture. Toss well.
4. Put canning jars into boiling water for 5 minutes. Transfer eggplant and oil to canning jars and seal.