When I was writing the “Put ’em Up!” trilogy on home food preservation, I got pretty tight with pickles. Developing recipes, testing recipes, tasting recipes, I was quite deep in the brine. As a sideline to coming up with new pickle recipes, I also came across some good uses for pickles and pickle by-products, such as their leftover brine. Whether you make your own or buy your pickles, these recipes will put your “extras” to work. My advice: for best results, use pickles with only ingredients you can pronounce.
Pickle Spice Mustard
My dear friend Luke Easter turned me onto this trick. Making mustard from the dregs of the pickle jar is an easy way to turn would-be trash into a zippy little spread. Of course, it helps if your brine is studded with mustard seeds, the common spice in many pickle recipes, such as bread-and-butter pickles and dills. You can mix the mustard half and half with mayo for an even creamier spread.
Makes 1⁄2 cup mustard
2 tablespoons pickling spice from the bottom of the pickle jar
2 tablespoons pickling brine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
In a small food processor or blender, puree the spices and brine to your desired smoothness. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure that the seeds hit the blades. Add the olive oil, a little at a time, and puree until incorporated. Add the mayonnaise, if using, and blend again, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Excerpted from Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of the Food You Buy by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Available wherever books are sold.