Don’t throw out that pickle brine! We’ve got three inventive ways to repurpose it and get the most out of every jar. In today’s installment of Prep School, self-proclaimed pickle lover Chef Megan Mitchell shows us the light.
Dill Pickled Onions
If you have a jar of leftover pickle brine, onions, and coconut sugar, then you’ve got everything you need to make pickled onions. Mitchell suggests trying them on a sandwich or a burger. And if you forget about them for a few days, no sweat—she says the longer they sit, the more flavor they get. You can also try this recipe with asparagus, radishes, and cucumbers.
Yield: 1 jar
Active time: 5 minutes
Total time: 24 hours
Add coconut sugar to the jar of leftover brine; seal jar and shake until sugar dissolves. Add in sliced red onions, pushing them down so they’re fully submerged in the liquid. Screw the lid tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 days. Use on burgers, sandwiches, salads, and tacos!
Dill Pickled Green Beans
The fresh dill in this recipe really amps up the flavor. Looking for a little spice? Chef Mitchell recommends adding crushed red pepper flakes or thinly sliced jalapeño.
Yield: About 4 cups
Active time: 3 minutes
Total time: 2 to 3 days
Add bay leaves and dill sprigs to the pickle jar. Carefully pack the haricot verts in the jar, standing upright. Be sure you don’t snap or break any in half! Screw the lid tightly and refrigerate 1 day. On the second day, flip the jar upside down, placing a plate or bowl underneath to catch any leaks. Use in a Bloody Mary, to garnish a meat and cheese board, or on sandwiches.
Cucumber and Cabbage Slaw with Bread and Butter Brine
This vibrant summer side dish is ready for summer, and here’s how Chef Mitchell approaches things: “With slaw, I add the sauce, let it sit, toss again, and let it sit. Then I can always add more tamari or fish sauce if needed.”
Yield: 8 cups
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
1 head green cabbage, finely shredded (about 8 cups)
3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced into rounds about ⅛ inch thick
3 green onions, thinly sliced on a bias
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
½ cup brine from Thrive Market Bread and Butter Pickle Chips
3 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Crushed Red Pepper, optional
Sea salt, to taste
Thrive Market Organic Ground Pepper, to taste
Toss shredded cabbage, cucumbers, green onions, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. In a Mason jar, combine brine, tamari, fish sauce, crushed red pepper (if using), and a large pinch each of salt and ground pepper. Shake until smooth and creamy.
Pour dressing over the shredded cabbage and toss. Let sit for 5 minutes and toss again. (The longer it sits, the more the flavors absorb.) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Before serving, taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.