One of the things I like to focus on, because it's something absolutely everybody can add to their cooking routine, is managing waste. What are we throwing away that we could actually be saving and using?
My friends at The Real Dill, the best pickle makers in the known universe operating right here in the city of Denver, take this concept to new, flavor-packed heights by suggesting that we use what many people probably throw away as an ingredient. What a concept! I don't know about everybody else, but I have dumped many a precious jarful of pickle brine down the sink without a second thought. But why in heavens shouldn't we use the stuff?! It's absolutely full of delicious flavor!
For this recipe, I used not only the brine but the pickled garlic cloves and jalapeño that can be found in every jar of their Jalapeño Honey Dills. The result is a refreshingly light, sweet and tangy dressing with the essence of spicy-sweet pickles. The season is still bountiful with apples and kohlrabi, so I tossed them in the dressing with the diced, pickled jalapeno and a healthy handful of cilantro leaves. Serve right away for a crispy, crunchy and subtle-tasting slaw or let it marinate for a day or two (leave the cilantro leaves out and add just before serving) for a sweet, tangy and pickled-tasting version. Still have a couple of pickles left? Dice them up and invite them to the slaw party! The more the merrier...
Honey Jalapeño Dill Dressing with Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw
1/4 cup Pickle Brine
2 pickled garlic cloves
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp honey
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small Kohlrabi, peeled
1-2 pickled jalapeños, seeded and diced
1 cup cilantro leaves
First, assemble the dressing. In a blender, combine brine, garlic, mustard and honey and blend until garlic is well-chopped. With the blender on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Set aside.
Using a mandoline with the julienne attachment, cut the unpeeled apples and kohlrabi into 1/4" strips. Toss together with dressing and diced jalapeño. If desired, allow to marinate for 1 to 2 days for a more intense-flavored slaw. Toss with cilantro leaves just before serving.