To pickle or not to pickle, that is the question. What??? That's not your question? Seriously? Well, it's mine. I've become a pickling goddess, if you will. My latest foray into the pickling arena are these pickled green beans. I adore pickled green beans. In the winter, when they are all crisp and pickle-y, they remind me of summer.
I also love to can, but I'm not a huge fan of pounds and pounds of things. I probably wouldn't even enjoy doing something with pounds and pounds of chocolate, though I'd be willing to try. So, anyway, The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Delicious Recipes works for me. You don't end up with jars and jars of things and you don't have to stand your kitchen peeling peaches for three hours (been there, done that).
This recipe uses a mere two pounds of green beans, so when my bag of green beans from my CSA weighed in at just under that, I was set to go. This is really easy, the only thing I might mention is that it's easier to get your green beans all lined up nicely if you lay your jar on it's side. I plan on using these in the winter as a side dish or mixed in a nice three bean salad, plus they're good for just snacking.
Lemon Spiced Bean Pickle
Makes 3 pint jars
1 lb green beans
1 lb yellow beans (I used all green)
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pickling spice
3 strips lemon rind
Wash and trim the beans, so that they fit nicely in the jar (about 4 inches long).
Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the beans, cover the pot, return to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove hot jars from the canner and place 1 teaspoon of pickling spice and 1 strip of lemon rind into each jar. Pack in the beans and pour the boiling liquid into the jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Set hot lids on the jars and screw bands on. Lower the jars into the boiling water. Process for 10 minutes.** Remove jars from the water and let sit on the counter for 12 hours, check for seal.
**If you've never canned before, do a google search on water bath canning, or better yet, get a simple canning book. Water batch canning is pretty simple, but there are some basic steps you follow.