Bottled Brined Ingredients + How to Use Them

Learn how to use bottled ingredients properly!

IMAGE Toto Labrador

More than just extending a seasonal ingredient’s shelf life, brining offers convenience, variety, and flavor.



1 Fresh Artichokes

Fresh artichokes are delicious in dips, as a pizza topping, or part of an omelet. The prep work involved, however, may be tedious and tricky. This is where the jarred variety comes in—no need to pick, cut, pull, rinse, and boil the vegetable!

 

2 Capers

Commonly sold pickled or brined, capers are the flower buds of the caper bush. These pea-sized buds are handpicked—they’re too delicate for machines—which explains why they can be expensive. They lend a salty, tangy flavor to dishes and make a great addition to sauces for chicken and fish.

 

3 Gherkin pickles

Gherkin pickles are pickled baby cucumbers. Crunchy in texture and sweeter than the usual pickle relish, they complement burgers and hotdog sandwiches well. They’re bursting with flavor so go easy when adding them to a dish—one or two pieces should be enough.



4 Green olives

Green olives are olives that are picked and processed before they ripen. Since raw olives are mostly inedible, they are either salted, pickled, or brined before consumption. Green olives are denser, firmer, and bitterer than their black counterparts, and are great for snacking. Marinate them with olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, and oregano for a tasty appetizer or use them to garnish a classic martini.



5 Black olives

Black olives, on the other hand, are olives that are picked after they have fully ripened. They are also milder in flavor and are used primarily for cooking, especially in the Mediterranean. Knead them into bread dough; toss with pasta; or whiz with capers, anchovies, and olive oil to make delicious tapenade.



6 Cocktail onions

Cocktail onions are pearl onions in brine. As the name suggests, they are used to garnish cocktails such as the Gibson. Got leftovers? Pickle them with hot peppers for a spicy homemade condiment.

 

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Feature was published in the December 2015 issue of Yummy magazine.

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