Pickled Green Beans
You know when you wake up thinking about what a wonderful time you had with good friends and then you remember the delicious food that was served! That is how it is with Meade.
The last time we were together she served pickled green beans as an appetizer. I don’t know how many times I have looked for an interesting dish like this, just perfect.
MEADE’S PICKLED GREEN BEANS
Remember to do these two days ahead.
Here’s what you’ll need: 2 cups of beans (about one huge, overflowing handful), 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water, 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly, 2 sprigs of fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon of dill seeds), 1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns, and 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want them) — you can also add a whole dried chile if you have one. I didn’t, so I used flakes.
1. Make your brine. This is the longest part of this process (and it only takes a few minutes)! So do this first. Add your water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic (which you’ve minced) to a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn it off and set it aside to cool down to room temperature.
2. Trim the beans. You want them all to fit in your jar with about an inch at the top so the brine covers them completely. You can trim both ends, or just the stem end. I think the pointy blossom end of beans are pretty, so I leave them.
Its up to you.
3. Blanch the beans. Bring a saucepan of water to a full boil, then dump the beans in and boil them for thirty-seconds. Drain them, and quickly add them to a bowl of iced water to shock them and stop the cooking process. You want your beans to be brightly colored and still crisp.
4. Drain the beans and set them aside. Add your onions, dill, red pepper flakes, and peppercorns to your jars.
5. Now add your beans to the jars. They look prettiest standing upright, but don’t worry about being perfect. The easiest way is to lay the jar on its side, or hold it horizontally, and place the beans inside.
6. Go ahead and pour your brine in once it has reached room temperature. Fill the jar to 1/2 inch below the top of the jar, and put the lid on. Place the jar of dilly beans in the fridge, and let them sit for at least two days before eating them.
They’ll keep for up to six months in the fridge, but I’ll bet you foldable money that you won’t have them around nearly that long!