Your New Secret Weapon in the Kitchen
Next time you open and finish a jar of Mezzetta®, don't toss out all that bright salty goodness! There are so many incredible ways to repurpose leftover brine—it just might become your new secret weapon in the kitchen.
Brine - sometimes referred to as the “juice”- is the extremely flavorful liquid that many of our items are packaged in—essentially salt water that’s been infused with the flavor of olives, peppers and assorted vegetables. While most people look at it as trash and dump it down the drain, we’ve found it to be an incredibly versatile condiment. Whether it be olives, peperoncini, artichoke hearts, giardiniera or jalapeños, just a splash can add salt, acid and depth of flavor to whatever you use it on, and helps to eliminate food waste in the kitchen!
Below are some of our favorite uses for leftover brine:
Brining or Marinating Meat: Cut back the salt and pepper and brine pork chops, chicken, or even your Thanksgiving turkey in about ½ cup of leftover brine added to water and aromatics. You can also add extra flavor to store-bought marinades. Dinner will come out juicy and full of extra flavor!
Salad Dressings and Vinaigrettes: This one may seem like a no-brainer, but just a few tablespoons of olive or pepperoncini juice can really jazz up your homemade salad dressings! Salad dressing is also a convenient way to incorporate the liquid from some of our oil-based products like Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, Grilled Artichoke Hearts and Chicago Style Giardiniera. Use both leftover oil with vinegar and leftover brine to make the ultimate salad dressing!
Flavor Enhancer: Do you have some generic store-bought items on hand? Our brines can enhance those flavors in a pinch!
- - Plain hummus? Add a tablespoon of Kalamata Olive or Peperoncini juice and give it a shot of Mediterranean flavor!
- - Making pasta for dinner? Add a dash of olive brine to give your pasta sauce an added depth of flavor.
- - A few tablespoons of our Jalapeño, Banana Pepper or Hot Chili Pepper juice adds the perfect kick to store-bought barbecue sauces, beans, chili and nacho cheese.
- - Cook up flavorful couscous using the leftover oil from Marinated or Grilled Artichoke Hearts.
- - Give potato and pasta salads a zingy upgrade with a splash of Golden Greek Peperoncini juice.
- - Spice up plain white rice with a few splashes of our Tamed or Hot Jalapeno juice.
Brunch: Olive brine doesn’t just have to be for dirty martinis. At your next brunch, add a splash of brine to your Bloody Mary mix for an exciting burst of flavor. And since you’re serving brunch, add a few spoonfuls of olive or pepper brine to your scrambled eggs with some herbs, sour cream or mascarpone.
Make Your Own Pickled Veggies: Cut out food waste completely with this amazing hack! Add any vegetables you may have aging in your refrigerator to one of our empty jars and bring any of our pepper or pickled vegetable brines to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, seal and voilà! You have your own pickled veggies! Let the pickles cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Next time you find yourself with an empty or almost-empty jar of your favorite Mezzetta® product, don’t forget to reserve the oils, juices and brines to marinate, sauté, drizzle and dip!