Pickle Juice Is The Ultimate Flavor Shortcut For Sauteed Vegetables

Sauteed vegetables make for a great side or main dish. They can be prepared in a jiffy, and sauteeing is also a good cooking method for preserving the veggies' important nutrients. Not to mention, with more than 1,000 vegetables available, you can prepare them in an infinite amount of ways. Combine the likes of zucchini and asparagus for a nourishing dish, or pair onion, potatoes, and carrots for a delicious-tasting trifecta. And don't forget about the seasonings, which can help to bring out the savory, natural flavors of vegetables. However, when it comes to enhancing the flavor and complexity of sauteed veggies — all you really need is a splash of pickle juice.

Yes, you read that right: pickle juice. The bold, tangy notes of liquid brine can do wonders in terms of adding a little pizazz to your meal. This is due, in part, to its high level of acidity, which stems from all the vinegar used to turn cucumbers into pickles. Similar to the citric acid found in lemon juice, the pickle brine can brighten or balance out the flavors of the dish for the tastiest veggies you'll probably ever have.

Pickle juice adds nuance to sauteed veggies

Pickle juice packs quite a punch, especially when it comes to cooking. You'd think adding a bit of pickle juice while you're sauteeing veggies would result in them tasting rather sour, but the opposite is true. Instead, the brine's acidic vinegar reduces in the pan and lifts the brightness of the dish by cutting through the fatty richness of whatever you're cooking the vegetables in, such as oil or butter. 

Incorporating the brine is simple: Just drop a few splashes of the juice into your mix just before you take it off the heat, and then let it simmer for a few minutes, and you're ready to dig in. Of course, the usefulness of the juice goes far beyond elevating the natural flavors of your veggies. Whether you have a jar of zesty dill spears or garlic pickle chips, the pickle brine comes packed with its own savory seasonings, imparting its own subtle salty or herby flavor — no additional salt or pepper needed.

Other ways to use leftover pickle juice

Who knew pickle juice could go the distance? After all, you paid for every last drop, so you might as well use it. In addition to zhuzhing up sauteed veggies, the liquid brine can also be used to elevate a number of other recipes. Don't take our word for it; just ask the Queen of Country. Dolly Parton's game-changing ingredient for tangy coleslaw is none other than — you guessed it — sweet pickle juice.

Lend a salty kick to sauces and other dressings like pesto, avocado crema, and vinaigrettes. Use the juice in a marinade to season meats like chicken or steak. Or, add it to soups and stews for added tang. From Bloody Marys to martinis, you can mix up your cocktails with a splash of pickle juice. What's more, you can even incorporate the brine into baked goods. Leftover pickle juice certainly does wonders for homemade bread, transforming the most basic sourdough or rye recipes, among others, into something far tastier.