The pickle has been on quite a culinary journey, first enjoyed thousands of years ago in Northern India, then gaining fans in Europe and eventually arriving in America. Today, chefs all over the world use pickles to add distinctive taste and flair to their favorite dishes. So if it's time to revamp the menu or add some spice to a new one, remember that pickles are a well-seasoned traveler - they're inexpensive and versatile, and can do much more than dress up a plate.
- Add a flavorful touch to Tuna, Chicken or Egg Salads by stirring in well-drained sweet pickle relish.
- Mix chopped dill pickles, crumbled cooked bacon, fresh dill and sliced egg into Dilled Potato Salad.
- For an inventive Pasta Salad, combine chow-chow with cherry tomato halves, broccoli spears and cooked corkscrew pasta.
- Update the classic Cobb Salad by adding a section of chopped pickles or pickled peppers. Either, or both, are excellent complements to the traditional ingredients.
- Easy-to-prepare, inexpensive Pickled Gazpacho is delicious warm-weather soup. Blend chopped fresh tomatoes, sliced zucchini, chopped chives and fresh cucumber pickles with sweet pickle juice and a dash of oregano. Pulse in food processor until chunky, chill thoroughly and serve!
- For a super soup-du-jour, add chopped, sweet, fresh cucumber pickles and a bit of sweet pickle liquid to tomato-based Fish Chowder.
- Sliced dill pickles add zing and texture to Creamy Potato Pickle Soup, a combination of potatoes, zucchini, broccoli and onion, all blended in the food processor with chicken stock. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt.
- Chopped hot pickled cherry peppers give down-home Vegetable Soup a zippy modern twist.
- For a fiery first course, crown a sumptuous Corn Chowder with minced pickled jalapeno peppers.
- The popular New Orleans Muffaletta is an easy-to-make, tasty and impressive-looking addition to any menu. Stuff a sesame round loaf or focaccia with Italian meats, cheeses and a chopped mixture of dill pickles, pickled pepperoncini and olives. Lace with a garlicky vinaigrette dressing.
- Crown a Mexican Sandwich of shredded chicken, jack cheese, avocado, papaya slices and salsa on corn bread with hot or mild pickled banana pepper rings.
- Make a Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sandwich with shredded pork doused with barbecue sauce and topped with dill pickle chips. For an authentic version, serve on white bread!
- Top a sizzling Beef or Turkey Burger with barbecue sauce and garnish with chopped pickled peppers.
- Spread sweet pickle relish on cold, sliced California Turkey Sandwiches. Add Alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrots and tomato slices for a lean lunch treat.
- Top your pork, poultry or fish fillets with this Cranberry-Port Chutney. Mix fresh or frozen crushed cranberries with sugar, orange juice, port wine, diced pickled banana peppers and some grated orange peel.
- Beef and lamb get a kick from Hot Jalapeno Sauce made with tomatoes, pickled jalapeno peppers, scallions, pungent garlic cloves, parsley, a splash of lime juice and a pinch of grated lime peel.
- A lusty Salsa Cruda makes an excellent foil for nacho chips. Combine red pepper, tomatoes, onion, dill pickles and pickled jalapeno peppers in bowl of a food processor and pulse until vegetables are chopped into small pieces. Mix in a zesty blend of cilantro, lime juice, cumin and whole kernel corn. This sauce also is a great topping for grilled chicken or fish.
- Colorful Caribbean Chutney made with fresh mango and sweet mixed pickled vegetables couldn't be simpler. Combine sweet mixed pickled vegetables, large ripe mangos (seeded, peeled and diced), ground ginger, cinnamon and cayenne. Serve with grilled or roasted chicken or other meats.
- Pickle relish can add an unexpected surprise to a Creamy Cheese Dip. Mix relish with a mild, semisoft cheese, bottled horseradish, chopped green onion, snipped dill and sour cream. Garnish with a sprig of dill and serve with a plate of colorful raw vegetables.
- Prepare an eye-catching appetizer of Pickled Mushrooms. Combine pickled sweet red pepper slices in their juice with lemon juice, olive oil and small whole mushrooms. Toss to coat well and marinate for 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.
- Add pizzazz to an Antipasto Platter with stuffed pickled pepperoncini peppers. To make, cut a lengthwise opening in each pepper and stuff with strips of mozzarella cheese and a thin wedge of tomato. Drizzle with oil and serve with sliced salami, a wedge of aged provolone and imported olives.
- A first course of Pasta and Broccoli with Hot Pickled Pepper Sauce will earn kudos from customers and put money in the cash register. Heat garlic, anchovies, chopped pickled hot banana pepper slices and chopped parsley in olive oil. Toss with steamed broccoli and cooked pasta.
- Corned beef has a natural affinity for pickles - why not perk up Corned Beef Hash by adding chopped dill pickles or piccalilli, a crunchy medley of pickled vegetables, before cooking.
- Wake up a Western Omelet by combining chopped pickled peppers with the onion and ham. Or, add diced pickles or relish to fluffy scrambled eggs while cooking.
- For Surprising Stuffed Tomatoes, cut fully-ripened tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Place a mixture of shredded cheese, whole wheat bread, onion and pickled jalapeno peppers in food processor and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Fill tomato halves and bake. Garnish with pickled jalapeno pepper rings. Serve as an accompaniment to fish or poultry.
- Serve Dilled Chicken Kabobs, made by marinating cubed chicken cutlets in dill pickle liquid, vegetable oil, oregano, lemon juice, dried minced onion, paprika and pepper. Thread chicken cubes on skewers with sliced dill pickles and pickled cherry peppers and grill.
- When making Meat Loaf, add pickle relish or chopped dill pickles to the mixture for a tangy twist. For a tastier version, use chopped pickled hot cherry peppers. For Southwestern-style meat loaf, add chopped pickled jalapeno peppers.
- Pizza with Pizzazz is sure to become one of the most popular items on your menu. Top a cheese and tomato pizza with pickled banana or cherry pepper rings and any other toppings your customer selects. Use either hot or mild peppers depending on the desired punch.