Pickled Green Beans

A recipe posted by special request (Nick, I’m looking at you). You can pickle practically anything, so use this recipe as a base and go from there!

That’s a-picklin’:

  • A mason jar or several, any size
  • Enough green beans to fill your jar(s)
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Salt (1 tbsp per 500ml of jar space–2 tbsp if you have a 1-liter jar, and so on)
  • One whole garlic clove, peeled, per 500ml of jar space
  • Herbs of your choosing, 1 tbsp total per 500ml of jar space: try a combination of dill (fresh is better than dried), peppercorns, red pepper flakes, coriander, black pepper…

First, you’ll want to sanitize each jar and its lid. I do this by boiling them for 10-15 minutes. Below I’ll also show you how to pressure-seal your jars, but if that doesn’t work–of if you just don’t want to deal with it–you can simply refrigerate yours.

Once a jar is nice and clean, measure out enough vinegar to fill it half-way (my jar holds 500ml, so I’ve got about 250ml). Combine this in a pot with an equal amount of water, the correct amount of salt (see above), and the right number of garlic cloves (also above). Bring this mixture to a boil over high heat.

While that’s boiling, fill your jar with green beans. I’ve cut mine in half to get them to fit nicely. You can pack the jar fairly tightly, but be sure you’ve left some room for air at the top. Now, add the spices you’ve chosen (see above for measurement instructions).

When the liquid has boiled, turn the heat off and fill your jar with enough liquid to cover your beans–again, leave a bit of space, maybe 1/4″, at the top. You can choose to include the garlic in your jar if you’d like. Now seal the jar tightly with its cover–it’s going to be HOT, so use a towel to help you out!

To pressure-seal your jar, you’ll need to submerge it in a pot of hot water, on medium heat but not boiling, for 5-10 minutes. I tried to pressure-seal mine, but my pot wasn’t deep enough! See the pictures if you want a good laugh. Anyway, place yours right-side up, and covered with at least an inch of water, if you want to do it right. Once the time is up, carefully remove the jar from the pot and let it cool completely on an oven mitt or towel–anything to keep it from contacting a cold surface, and from experiencing other temperature fluctuations–before storing it. My friend Clive cautions that if you want to boil more than one jar at a time, it’s also important to separate them from each other once you take them out of the pot.

If you didn’t want to pressure-seal your jars, or if the process hasn’t worked–in other words, if you press on the center of the jar and the circle in the middle still moves up and down–you’ll need to store yours in the fridge. If you reuse jar lids, they may fail to seal properly after a certain point.

You can eat your pickled green beans after 48 hours, but they’ll taste even better if you wait a week or two. Once you’ve got this method down, you can experiment with other spices and other veggies. Let me know how it goes!

2 thoughts on “Pickled Green Beans

  1. I’ve been pickling cucumbers, red bell peppers and root veggies. What does the heating do? I don’t heat mine. Is it sterilization or a means of getting better absorption of the brine?

    Did you know your great grandfather and my father’s brother were both in the pickle business?

    L, D

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Yes, I did know! That’s really cool.

      As for boiling, it’s to absorb the garlic and salt, but also a matter of sanitizing and packing. Try it next time and see if you taste a difference. Every recipe I’ve come across has also included boiling.

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