Flavour Your Rice and Pasta With Leftover Brine

Flavour Your Rice and Pasta With Leftover Brine

I am something of a pickle collector. I have a dedicated pickle fridge with a wide assortment of brined beauties contained within its walls. I cherish the salty, sour vegetables, but I’m never sad when I finish eating them — because that means I can start cooking with the brine.

Pickle brines are valuable because they pack a lot of flavour into a small volume of liquid. My favourite leftover brine move used to be splashing them into martinis (especially cucumber, tomato, and caper brines). But I don’t drink so much anymore, so now I splash them into big pots of rice and pasta.

Got extra olive brine? Splash it into your spaghetti water for extra savoury spaghetti alla puttanesca. Pour your leftover caper brine into your pot of rice and serve it with some garlicky chicken thighs. Pepperoncini brine would also be good, as would pickled onion brine, which has the added bonus of turning your rice a pretty magenta colour, depending on the type of onion you pickled and the amount of brine you use.

Don’t limit yourself to vegetables either: Preserved lemon brine adds a tart, floral, salty note, and leftover feta brine can turn your plain rice into creamy, savoury cheesy rice. (I’ve also used feta brine as a pork chop brine; it was incredible.)

The amount of brine you can use depends on the amount of brine you have, its sodium content, and your personal preferences. You can splash in a little bit at a time, or you can omit plain water entirely and use only brine for an intensely savoury experience (I do this with feta brine, and it rules). For every portion of brine, make sure you subtract that volume of plain water — it doesn’t matter so much with pasta water, but you don’t want to mess up your liquid-to-rice ratio, especially if you’re cooking it on the stove.


The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply