Pickles-especially the pickled dill cucumber, which we in SA know better as the gherkin- have long been used as a way to pep up blander dishes, adding crunch and a unique spicy taste to the mix. It’s one of Miami’s favourite salad ingredients, in fact, and we offer a broad range of gherkins for you to enjoy. Today we look at exactly why you will want to stock up next time you shop.
What makes the gherkin so tasty?
Far removed from their cucumber origins, the gherkin has been bathed in a blend of salt, vinegar and spices to give it its signature tang. The pickling process not only imparts new taste to the gherkin but also gives it a longer shelf life and even ‘cooks’ it through the science of the pickling process, so they are conveniently ready to use out of the jar. This leaves the gherkin with a sweet and sour taste redolent of the spice marinade used, and also adds the elusive ‘umami’ taste group to the mix. There’s no wonder they taste so good!
Four salads that taste fantastic with gherkins
Now you know why pickles are the perfect accompaniment to any dish, let’s take a look at 4 classic salads- and why the humble gherkin can spice them up perfectly.
Did you know both bay and dill are among the most recommended spices for chicken? They’re also key components of the typical pickling mix for gherkins too! This is only one of the many ways in which the gherkin can add depth to your classic chicken salad. Providing a crisp snap of texture and a salty aftertaste that blends well with a wide range of salad ingredients (especially a crisp lettuce), it’s time to make the gherkin your secret weapon in your chicken salad.
Potato salad is a family staple, especially during celebrations and festivities. What braai would be complete without at least one delectable potato salad on standby to complement the wors and chops?
Take your potato salads to the next level with some diced gherkins. The magic in a potato salad lies in the way in which the smooth, buttery starch of the potato blends seamlessly with the tangier tastes of the mayonnaise (and any secret spices your family adds). As palette-tantalizers go, however, this does tend towards the bland. The addition of the salty taste of gherkins, combined with their crisp bite, kicks it up a notch (and melds beautifully with bacon or meat), while the vinegar of the pickling liquid blends seamlessly with the mayo.
Another creamy family delight, what would summer be without a lovely bowl of egg salad (or a tasty egg mayo sandwich on the run)? As with potato salad, however, it can be a little flat in both taste and feel… and gherkins will provide that same crunchy, salty/spicy extra that takes it from drab to fab.
A great pasta salad starts with the ingredients- and again pickles can work their crunchy magic to add some delightful texture and bite to the mix. Here, they add a different layer to the mix, too. The classic vinaigrette dressing that makes pasta salad so delectable works synergistically with the pickling of the gherkins themselves, making for a vibrant, tasty salad combination.
Who would have believed the humble gherkin could add such taste, texture, dimension and depth to a salad? We at Miami do! If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to get all the praise at your family table this Christmas, be sure to embrace the magic of the humble pickle for your own salads.