We’ve all been in this pickle: You’ve finished crunching the last dill, munched the lone cornichon, fished out the final gherkin from the jar—and now you have a half-full (let’s be positive here) glass of pickle juice. What do you do with it?
If you’re like Senior Editor Eric Kim, you save it for picklebacks. Or maybe you’re like contributor Grant Melton, who uses it for this mayo-free potato salad. I’ve saved half-full jars of pickle juice for my mom’s red beans and rice. And then there’s Food Writer and Recipe Developer Emma Laperruque, who makes a delightful Pickle Martini. But it’s good for many other things, as well.
If you’re looking for easy ways to use up that brine, grab Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food from the James Beard Foundation, which gives more than a hundred delicious solutions for fighting food waste. (Yes, including pickle juice.)
The book features recipes from dozens of the foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change alumni. And in Chef Abra Berens’ Vegetable Salad, she tosses a crisper drawer’s worth of vegetables with a mixture of sour cream and pickle liquid. Simply whisk the two together in a 2:1 ratio, respectively, and season with salt and pepper, then dress to impress. It’s really that easy.
And in case you still have some extra brine—no worries! Check out these scrappy ideas:
What’s your favorite way to use pickle brine? Give us your best tips in the comments section below!