How-To & Diy

How to Turn Your Pickles into a Salad

June 24, 2014

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Make lunch out of pickles. 

Pickle Salad on Food52

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An obsession with fridge pickles has recently taken over my life and my refrigerator space. It began with these sandwiches, which include a salad of sliced fridge pickles, lots of herbs, capers, olives, and oil. You then layer that atop homemade focaccia and homemade aioli with feta and perfectly boiled eggs. It’s a great Not Sad Desk Lunch, if you have a maid.

So I’ve taken to chopping my pickles -- I like radishes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, anything crunchy and breezy -- and tossing them with herbs, capers, olives, chopped boiled eggs (always imperfect), and whatever cheese I have on hand. (Gouda? Sure. Pecorino? Go for it.) If I'm making this ahead of time, I pack the herbs separately and add them just before tossing.

More: Read our primer on quick pickling here.

Add a drizzle of olive oil -- you want to balance out all that vinegar -- and you have lunch. It’s crunchy and soft, with fat in all the right places. It’s refreshing like a bubbly glass of rosé, but you can consume it at your desk without getting fired.

The best part? Once you’re out of pickles, slice up some more vegetables, and toss them into the brine. A few days later, you’ll have more. It’s the lunch that keeps on giving. 

Photo by Eric Moran

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Threemoons
  • mrslarkin
  • savorthis
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
  • creamtea
Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



Threemoons July 20, 2014
This sounds awesome. If you marry this idea to the Jar Salad idea, I bet you could also meld it with a sort of Italian bread-salad thing and put some stale/older focaccia at the bottom of the jar. I bet the idea would play really well with sturdier greens like celery, cuke cubes, etc.
Marian B. July 21, 2014
Ohhh, I love that idea! Such great plan for stale bread.
mrslarkin June 25, 2014
My pickles have a new lease on life! Also, 1/8 of my fridge space is half-full jars of pickled things, so I'm pretty excited!
Marian B. June 26, 2014
So happy to hear this! Another fun fact: mrswheelbarrow introduced the word "quickles" to my vocabulary -- her shorthand for quick pickles!
savorthis June 24, 2014
I too have been obsessing on pickled items. I think for me it started with the amazing pita, date, pickled onion salad from Jerusalem. I moved on to pickling figs, keeping pickled red onions on hand and a carrot/jalapeño mix. Today I will be eating a salad of unhulled barley, pickled onion and cucumber, roasted beets, avocado, pistachios and shiso. They really do turn any old leftovers into a great meal!
creamtea June 24, 2014
Love this idea, Marian, and savorthis, I'm going into the kitchen now! to try a salad of dates and whatever else I can scrounge....