Once reserved primarily as a burger topping, pickles have stepped into the spotlight for recipes including ice cream, cupcakes, quick bread and even cocktails. But not all pickle recipes are on the strange side. For example, creamy dill pickle salad dressing is something we had never considered before, but it makes perfect sense. After all, pickles are just flavored-up cucumbers, right?
Sinful Nutrition shared a creamy dill pickle salad dressing recipe she thought up because she couldn’t face dumping the leftover pickle juice down the drain. “You put vinegar in salad dressing, so why not pickle juice?!” writes blogger Emily Cooper. “No more brines left behind.”
Cooper added one avocado, along with some olive oil, to come up with a tangy dressing that is paleo-friendly, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. She processes to make it smooth, but in the picture above it’s just been hand-mixed.
The blogger behind Yang’s Nourishing Kitchen prefers to use the juice from fermented pickles as the base of her salad dressing recipe. Fermented pickles, also known as Jewish kosher pickles, have lactic bacteria — “good bacteria” — from its brining process.
This bacteria is actually good for our digestive systems because of their probiotic qualities, Yang writes.
You can find fermented pickles in the refrigerated section of your favorite grocery stores. Why? They do not contain vinegar, which acts as a preservative. As a result, they cannot be placed on the shelves due to spoilage risk, she writes.
For this pickle juice salad dressing with summer herbs, Yang adds fresh ingredients such as garlic, dill and parsley to brighten up the taste. Also, she adds a dash of Dijon mustard to kick up the salad just a little bit.
If creaminess isn’t your thing, there are a few other dill pickle dressing recipes out there. This vinaigrette from Tasting Table includes a variety of oils and seasoning, including pickle juice, vegetable oil, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, shallots and garlic.
Want to keep it quick and easy? Another recipe from Food 52 requires only four ingredients, including dill pickle juice (the author suggests Mt. Olive brand pickles), extra virgin olive oil, mustard powder and salt.
If you love this pickle-infused salad dressing, you’ll probably also like this recipe for dill pickle hummus.
This hummus recipe is fresh and delicious but also super easy to make. You can whip up a bowl in under five minutes!
For this recipe from Turnip in the Oven, you will need a can of chickpeas, a jar of dill pickles, tahini, dill and lemons. You can blend the ingredients to a smooth consistency with a blender or food processor.
You can also increase the pickle flavor by including pickle juice straight from the jar. Turnip in the Oven suggests using only two tablespoons of the brine, but this version from Delish recommends using a full 1/4 cup — basically, twice as much — for a tangy, true pickle flavor.
Want added heat? Include a pinch of red pepper flakes.
If you love your hummus extra spicy, you can try this recipe from What Jew Wanna Eat. Blogger Amy likes to spice up her dill pickle hummus by throwing in some roasted jalapenos and cumin. Sounds pretty delicious, right?!
You can use this hummus with your salad as an alternative to the pickle dressing, or simply use as a dip for veggies, pita or whatever you prefer!
And if you want to go fully pickle-themed with your meal, you can also try making one of these recipes for a dill pickle chicken salad or a dill pickle pasta salad. And don’t forget the dill pickle cheeseball as an appetizer!
Additional reporting by Simplemost staff.