Add Pickled Juice to Stewed Vegetables

The fancy fake dipping bars are all about the marinade, but at one time I had to sneak up on the salty pickle because it was “weird” and the “pickles were starting to dry out.” But pickled juice is more than just a cucumber canning liquid, and I’m glad the world is beginning to appreciate its wider culinary uses.

I love some brine in martinis , but recently I have sprinkled it on hot splashes of oily vegetables with great success. Rather than having an aggressive and sour taste, the vinegar itself becomes slightly sweeter, while reducing some of the oil’s richness. There is also no need to raid the spice rack as the seasonings in the brine do all the work in that compartment. I especially love the Clausen Garlic Pickle with its crunchy buttery baby shiitaks. The meatiness of the mushroom benefits greatly from the whisper of acid, and the aroma of pickled spices is not overpowering. Add a tablespoon of brine just before removing the vegetables from the heat, let it cool for a minute or two, and serve as usual. (Other vegetables are good too, but try them with mushrooms first; you won’t regret your choice.)


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