Why You Should Stop Tossing Out The Oil From Your Empty Sun-Dried Tomato Jar

jar of sun-dried tomatoes
jar of sun-dried tomatoes - galsand/Shutterstock

Once you've used up all the sun-dried tomatoes in your jar (perhaps to make a delicious spinach and tomato-stuffed chicken breast), you may automatically think to throw out the container — but that would be a mistake. While the tomatoes themselves may be gone, the jar still contains all the precious oil they were packed in, and it can be repurposed in a plethora of delicious ways.

Just like the sun-dried tomatoes themselves, the leftover oil is full of potent savory and tart flavors, along with a hint of sweetness. Not only is it infused with the taste of the fruit, but many brands also fill their jars with herbs, spices, onion, and garlic, so the oil is essentially an umami-packed flavor bomb. You can try mixing it with red wine, white wine, or balsamic vinegar for a quick and delicious salad dressing, but really, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways you can use sun-dried tomato oil.

Read more: The 30 Absolute Best Ingredients To Elevate Salads

What To Do With Leftover Sun-Dried Tomato Oil

cheese dip with oil
cheese dip with oil - Natalia Maliseva/Shutterstock

If you love the flavor of sun-dried tomato oil, you can enjoy it straight out of the jar. Just pour the oil in a bowl and use it as a dip for your favorite crusty bread. Or, keep it in the jar and add in olives or small chunks of cheese; once they soak up all the herbs and spices inside, you'll be left with ingredients that can make a yummy appetizer. You can also incorporate this oil into a variety of recipes for dips, such as baba ganoush, whipped feta dip, hummus, and aioli. As a bonus, lighter-colored dips like mayo take on a pretty pink hue when mixed with the dark red oil. It also works perfectly in a homemade sun-dried tomato pesto pasta, and it's delicious when drizzled on a sandwich, bruschetta, or even a slice of pizza.

Since this flavor-packed liquid is full of olive oil, you can also use it as an upgraded cooking oil when sautéing veggies, making omelets (or any kind of eggs), or whipping up risotto. Essentially, it's ideal in almost any recipe with Mediterranean flavors. Put it front and center in a simple spaghetti aglio e olio, incorporate it into a pomodoro sauce or pasta salad, or use it to cook chicken, shrimp, or fish. The only way you can go wrong here is if you toss out the jar before using up the oil.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.