Give Boring Boiled Potatoes A Zing With Pickle Juice

Potatoes are completely perfect, as is. They are chock full of nutrients, are hearty enough to keep in the pantry for weeks on end, and of course, they are delicious. Whether you prepare them fried, steamed, mashed, baked, or any other of the hundreds of ways you could make them, potatoes are universally adored. These delightful tubers aren't just vegetable royalty, they are nearly a deity, and everybody has their time-treasured traditions of how to cook and eat them. However, there's always a way to improve on perfection. 

One of the best things about potatoes is how well they take on other flavors. That's why they are so delicious when fried until crunchy and swirled through spicy mayonnaise or long cooked in a meaty stew where they absorb the meaty, umami juices. So, when boiling potatoes, why settle for using water when you could easily add the tart, piquant, acidic kick of pickle juice?

The pickle juice solution is your solution

That's right, pickle juice. The briny, salty, pleasantly mouth-puckering brine that turns cucumbers into half-sours, dills, full-sours, and bread and butter pickles is meant for so much more than your kitchen sink drain. You can use it for salad dressings, an addition to bloody Marys, and, yes, boiling potatoes. Just add a hefty dose of pickle brine directly to your boiling water before you throw in the potatoes to let them cook. Yes, that's it. J

ust by letting the potatoes cook in the pickle juice and water solution, the potatoes will take on all the flavors of the pickle brine. Whatever herbs and spices are in the juice, like dill, garlic, peppercorn, and coriander, will permeate the potatoes as does the salty, vinegary tang of the brine itself. That way, before you've even started on your main potato dish, you've infused the potatoes with so much flavor they're already on their way to perfection.

Potato, Potahto

This tasty trick works on all kinds of potatoes, so use quartered russets, tiny new potatoes, or buttery fingerlings. Just be sure to either peel or cut your potatoes, or use potatoes that have thin enough skins so the pickle juice solution can really permeate the flesh of the spud. Once your potatoes are fork tender, drain them and get to work. They can easily pan-fry to a golden crust, now that they are already tender in the middle. They are already on their way to a delicious potato salad, just add some more fresh dill and the mayonnaise or vinegar dressing of your choice. And, of course, they are set to go as is for an accompaniment to steamed shellfish. The best thing about this pickle juice hack isn't even the delicious taste, it's about the sustainability aspect of using every part of an ingredient. Okay, the delicious part is pretty good, too.