1 lb green beans
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar (I prefer this to cider vinegar in this recipe)
1 teaspoon coarse salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dill seed
6 cloves garlic, cut in slivers
5 or 6 fresh dill sprigs
1. Wash beans, remove any discolored areas, and trim off the ends, leaving beans whole.
2. Combine remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and add beans. Simmer the mixture, covered, over low heat for 4-10 minutes, or until beans are cooked through, but still retain some snap. Timing will depend on how thick and how fresh your beans are, so check them often. How will you know they’re done? Bite one. Add more salt if needed.
3. Put beans and pickling mixture in a smallish, non-aluminum dish, arranging them so liquid covers the beans. Cover tightly and refrigerate. These can be served as soon as they are cold, and will keep getting better in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
This is an adaptation of an old Vermont recipe for spicy, garlic-infused pickled green beans.
You can put the beans in sterilized canning jars and process in a boiling water bath, if you wish, and then keep the jars at room temperature for up to a year. (See the University of Georgia's National Center for Home Food Preservation for how to do this.)
I think this is a lot of trouble, though, and would probably never make the beans if I thought I had to go through the canning step. These taste exactly the same as the old-fashioned pickled beans.
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