Pickling is a state of mind. Ask anyone who pickles. There is something rather atavistic about preparing food to be stored away for the coming winter. Not to mention a wonderful feeling of accomplishment as you tuck away jars of food you have prepared yourself. Once you’ve made your first batch of pickles it is often the beginning of a wonderful, addictive relationship with all kinds of pickles and relishes.
It’s really not complicated. You prepare your vegetables. Wash and sterilize your jars. Fill the jars. Process the jars, That’s it. If you haven’t a canning pot and rack simply follow the instructions in the recipe.
This recipe for oh so addictive pickled green dilly beans is quite simple. You cut your beans to fit into the wide-mouth canning jars. Mix up your vinegar, water and salt. Put a little red pepper flakes, some mustard seeds and lots of dill seed into each jar. Tuck in the beans. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over. Seal the jars and process them in boiling water for 15 minutes and you’re done. You can cut the recipe in half if you just have a few beans picked up at the farmer’s market, or double the recipe if you’ve plundered your garden.
|ZEN AND ART OF PICKLED DILLY GREEN BEANS
- 4 lbs green beans
- ½ generous tsp. crushed red pepper flakes per jar
- ½ generous tsp. yellow must seed per jar
- 1 generous tsp. dill seed per jar
- 1 whole garlic clove per jar
- 5 cups vinegar
- 5 cups water
- ½ cup fine sea salt
- Clean and cut beans to fit into tall wide-mound Mason jars (one pint)
- Place red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, dill seed and garlic in each jar.
- Add beans to jars until full.
- Bring vinegar, water and sea salt to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.
- Pour the boiling liquid over the beans.
- Tighten lids
- Process in boiling water for 15 minutes.
- Remove and place on tea-towel covered counter to cool.
- How to process:
- Carefully wash and rinse jars, equipment, counters and anything that will come in contact with your canning procedure.
- Put them into a large pot with a lid.
- Fill the pot with pot and bring to a boil
- Boil for ten minutes.
- Remove jars using rubber tipped tongs or better still silicone oven mitts or gloves.
- Drop your lids into the hot water for a few minutes then put on the jars. This activates the seal around the edge of the lid. Do not boil.
- Tighten the lids on the filled jars.
- Put an old tea towel in the bottom of the pot and place your jars in the pot.
- Bring the pot to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the jars (the silicone oven mitts really work well here) and place on a tea towel covered counter.
- You will hear jars "pop" as the jars cool down. They must "pop" for safety and spoilage prevention. If they don't pop refrigerate and use within a few days.
- Fill the hot jars with the beans