I am so loving the CSA, Fall Creek Farms, that I joined this year! The variety is wonderful and the amount of veggies is overwhelming, but in a good way! Last week’s basket contained: green onions, green peppers, cauliflower, green beans, romaine lettuce, baby beets, pickling cucumbers and new potatoes! Even though we are eating oodles of veggies at every meal, I still need a way to preserve some of the food. Hold it for later, or at least hold it so that it can be eaten over the course of days or months.
That’s were pickling comes in. I probably have more pickling books than any other preserving books, because it’s so easy. And since it’s so easy, it’s my favorite way to preserve. My go-to book is The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market (Revised Edition)by Linda Ziedrich. Thanks to the gallons of water falling from the sky daily around here, my tarragon is gorgeous. Tall and lanky. So, when I found Tarrgaon Beans, I knew I had winner.
The recipe calls for 3 pounds of beans, I only had one pound, so I adjusted the recipe and made two lovely pint jars of these beans. I didn’t water bath process them either, since I knew they would keep in the fridge long enough for us to work our way through them. They were so good. Crisp and yet tender, the tarragon a perfect compliment to the beans. Since I didn’t water bath process them, I could have blanched the beans first, but these were so tender, I just poured the out pickling liquid over them and that was enough. These make a great side dish for a picnic, go great with grilled chicken or you can do what I do, which is just grab one or two every time I open the fridge.
(makes 6 pints)
- 6 garlic cloves sliced
- 36 whole black peppercorns, crushed
- 3 pounds young tender snap beans, trimmed if needed to 4 inches
- 6 tarragon sprigs or 12 basil sprigs
- 3 1/2 cups white wine vinegar (I just used regular white vinegar)
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
Divide the garlic and peppercorns evenly among 6 pint mason jars. Pack the beans vertically into the jars, adding 1 tarragon sprig or 2 basil sprigs to each.
In a saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, and salt. Pour the hot liquid over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Close the jars with two-piece caps. Process the jars for 5 minutes in a boiling water path, or pasteurize them for 30 minutes by immersing them in water heated to 180 to 185 f.
Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place for at lest 3 weeks before eating the beans. After opening a jar, store it in the refrigerator.