Last fall my aunt taught me how to make sauerkraut from scratch. We made several batches of it with green, red, and savoy cabbage. My favorite sauerkraut turned out to be the red cabbage variety. It not only looked beautiful due to its ruby red coloring, but it also had the most interesting flavor; sort of tangy, with hints of fruitiness.
When we ran out of the red sauerkraut, the jar remained half-full of flavorful brine. Since we had worked so hard to make it, I didn’t have the heart to throw it out and determined to find a use for it. But what do you do with left-over sauerkraut juice?
It sat in our fridge for a while before I figured out a solution: quick pickles.
My inspiration was a couple of giant homegrown cucumbers that I also didn’t know what to do with. Big cucumbers tend to be very bitter. I hoped that soaking them for a couple days in the sauerkraut brine would either mask or neutralize their unpleasant taste.
Turns out that quick pickles was the perfect solution for my big cucumbers. When I tried them today, I couldn’t taste a hint of bitterness. My taste buds were greeted only by tangy, crunchy pickle perfection!
So there you have it. Quick pickles: the solution to the problem of big cucumbers and leftover sauerkraut brine! I’ve included a short recipe below if you want to give these tangy sauerkraut quick pickles a shot!
How to Make Tangy Sauerkraut Quick Pickles
Step One: Eat Sauerkraut! Put in on your burgers, sneak it into salads, and enjoy it straight out of the jar!
Step Two: Save Your Brine! When you are finished with your jar of sauerkraut, don’t throw the brine away. Keep it in a quart-sized mason jar until you have two cups of tangy, salty deliciousness.
Step Three: Slice Your Cukes. Pick some cucumbers from your garden, or buy a couple from the store. Halve them, remove the seeds, and cut them into spears.
Step Four: Dunk the Spears. Submerge your spears into the brine, making sure they are completely covered. Return them to the fridge and forget about them for a couple days.
Step Five: Serve and Enjoy! Congratulate yourself for making homemade pickles and celebrate by savoring the crunchy, tangy goodness.
Stay tuned for next week! I’ll be sharing a sushi recipe that features these tasty pickles.