Crisp & Spicy Pickled Green Beans
I’ll be the first to admit: I’m not an expert at pickles. My parents, on the other hand, have many many years of experience making pickles and when I got the sudden urge to pickle Mom’s green beans, Mom and Dad were right there to give me some pickling tips. My dad taught me how to do a hot water bath to keep the beans crisp rather than cooking them in a boiling water bath, which tends to make the pickles soggy. Mom taught me to use the dill heads that have seeds on the top, not flowers. Little things I wouldn’t have known had I been flying solo on this gig.
Good thing they were there, watching me and giving their advice, because who knows how my pickled beans would have turned out without them! If you’re going to attempt these hot dilly treasures, pay special attention to step 4. That is what makes these pickles so perfectly crunchy.
Silly me, I even left my pretty pickled beans at Mom and Dad’s house, which was also probably a lucky accident, because they brought them back to me just when they were perfectly pickled and ready to eat. It’s a month and a half later now. I opened a jar yesterday at work and everyone who tried them just LOVED them and they were bugging me to GET ON IT and post the recipe.
So here’s my report: These pickled beans were perfectly crunchy with just a bit of a bite and that lovely dilly pickle tang. I had SUCH a hard time stopping myself from eating them (and I heard others remark the same) and that totally surprised me because, well, I’m not a pickle person. Thanks Mom and Dad. I would never have known what to do without you. And those red and orange peppers along with the big whole cloves of garlic make them look so pretty and festive, perfect for holiday gift giving.
- 1 3/4 pounds of green beans, trimmed
- 1 - 2 cowhorn or jalapeno peppers
- Several small sweet peppers
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 4 fresh dill heads
- 2 1/2 cups of vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
- Clean and sterilize 4 pint jars, lids and rings. Pack the garlic, peppers, green beans & dill heads into the 4 jars as tightly as you can.
- In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil. Carefully pour the hot vinegar mixture over the beans in the jars (pouring in the center to avoid contact with the glass), leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top.
- Gently bang the jars a bit to settle the contents and release the bubbles and add more liquid if needed. Clean the tops of the jars and top with lids, tightening the rings on.
- Put the jars in a hot water bath, bring to 180 - 185 degrees F, and pasteurize the beans by keeping them at 180 - 185 for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat in the bath and let the jars sit in the hot water for 10 minutes longer.
- Remove the jars from the bath and let them sit until they seal. Keep the rings on for 24 hours, then remove the rings before storing. If any of the jars don't seal, keep that jar in the fridge and enjoy your hot dilly pickles.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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