What do you do once your jar of pickles is empty? Some people keep the vinegared brine and add it to different sauces, but, I bet, most of you throw it away, just like I did until I discovered a fantastic way to give this aromatic liquid a second life. One day I simply cut up a piece of cucumber, put it into the leftover brine, refrigerated and waited. After two days I obtained crunchy, delicately vinegared “secondary” pickles. Since then I make sure all my pickling brines are reused.
As a regular pickler, I was particularly thrilled to discover how to recycle the brines from my processed long-term pickles, but this method also works with bought pickles, as long as the brine contains only natural ingredients. (I don’t advise however reusing the brine from what some people call “refrigerator” pickles, i. e. which have not been processed in a traditional way.) My favourite brine comes from pickled chillies and ginger, but the ones from pickled cucumbers or sweet peppers are also delicious.
TIPS: This method works only with vinegared brine (not salt brine from fermented chillies, cucumbers, etc.) and I have tested it only with traditionally processed and industrially processed vinegared brine.
This is a short-term fridge pickling method. Do not try making traditional processed long-term pickles with reused brine.
Make sure you refrigerate the secondary pickles from the moment you put them into the brine (I have never tried leaving them at room temperature, so I have no idea if it’s safe).
If you want to accelerate the process, warm the brine just before putting the cucumbers into the jar.
Until now I have only tried cucumber pickled in different leftover vinegared brines, but I’m sure other vegetables can be prepared this way too.
I wouldn’t advise stretching the brine’s life to a third pickling process. I did it twice and the cucumbers ended up inedible every time.
Preparation: 5 minutes + 48 hours pickling
a jar of vinegared brine left after all the pickled vegetables (chillies, cucumbers, sweet peppers, ginger…) have been eaten
well washed cucumber cut into slices, half-slices or 1/4 slices
Place the cucumber pieces into the vinegared brine. All the pieces should be covered by the liquid.
Close well the jar.
Put into the fridge for 48 hours. Eat them throughout the following two or three days.