Saturday, August 23, 2014
A Mess of Green Beans
LUCY BURDETTE: We've had a big problem in our house this summer: way too many green beans.
Of course I put the problem out to my Facebook friends. And got some amazing recipe suggestions back, ranging from Asian style to good old-fashioned southern green beans cooked a long time with bacon (I think that might have been Kathy Reel,) and, I was reminded about how delicious pickled green beans are.
One of the best Bloody Marys I was ever served used green beans as the stirrer for the drink. (I like interesting items in my Bloody Marys, especially olives, pepperoncini, and pickled green beans or okra. The night I got one with a shrimp on a skewer, I thought maybe they had gone off the deep end.)
This recipe for pickled dilly green beans is an easy one, but the results need to be stored in the refrigerator. If you want to put some by for the winter months, you would need to cook the jars of beans in a boiling water bath. Don't fool around with this, as I would hate to see friends done in by botulism!
4 1/2 cups of green beans
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
5 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons kosher salt
Four large heads of dill
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Two cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or two hot peppers
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan and simmer until the ingredients are well combined. Nestle the dill sprigs, the peppercorns, the garlic cloves, and the red pepper into clean quart canning jars.
Wash the green beans, clip off the ends, and blanch them about three minutes in boiling water. When they are still green and firm, dump them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When the beans are cool, arrange them in the canning jars. Divide the hot vinegar mixture between the two jars and seal the lids. Refrigerate.
The beans can be eaten any time after 24 hours. Of course I had to sample one right away. The marinade will get stronger and more delicious as time passes.
Recipe for Bloody Mary right here...
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries.
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