Fall often brings about an attempt to preserve summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables so they can be enjoyed all year round. Whether it’s by making jam, freezing goodies or by pickling vegetables, it’s certainly something oft practiced in Newfoundland. Enter these sweet and spicy pickled beans. Taken fresh from the garden and pickled in as little as 20 minutes, it’s an easy first step into canning.
I make these as a garnish for one of my favourite drinks, the caesar. I’m not really a tomato juice fan, but the combination of everything that goes into a caesar (hint hint: the garnishes) makes them so frickin’ good. For a while I was buying pickled beans from the grocery store and since I was growing them in the garden this year, thought I’d try my hand at making my own. They came out super tasty and are unbelievably easy to make! Don’t be intimidated! This is just a small batch recipe (one jar – you literally can’t make a smaller batch), so you won’t be wasting a bunch of time or ingredients on something you aren’t sure you’ll like. Just boil some stuff and throw it in a jar, boil a bit more and that’s it. True story!
PS. Stay tuned for a post or 2 using these bad boys soon!
Sweet and Spicy Pickled Beans
These sweet crunchy beans have a bit of a kick! Don't add the chili seeds if you prefer a milder level of heat.
- 275 g green or yellow string beans (or 2 large handfuls)
- 1.5 cups water
- 1.5 cups white vinegar
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1-2 tbsp red chili pepper, finely sliced 1 small chili
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole, but smashed
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 3/4 tsp salt
Sterilize a 500ml jar just prior to making your beans so it is still hot. To do this, boil the jar submerged in water for 10 minutes, or place in an oven at 320-350F for 15 minutes. Boil rings for 10 mins to sterilize and boil lids for only 30 seconds, any longer will damage rubber ring. Do the lid just before closing jar.
Bring your water, vinegar, honey and salt to a boil together. Keep it on a low simmer until ready to use.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil the beans until partially cooked, but still crunchy (about 3 minutes) and strain.
When everything is ready, add your chili, mustard seeds, and garlic to the bottom of the jar, add the beans (ensure they are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top of the jar), then pour the vinegar mixture over top until the beans are just covered, and close the jar.
Process the jar in a water bath for 5 minutes. If you don't have a canning pot, place a dish towel in the bottom of the pot to prevent the jars from cracking. Make sure the jars are covered with 1 inch of water.
Remove from water, the jars will depress when sealed. Let sit in a cool dry place for about 2 weeks to cure. If your jar does not seal in an hour, just pop in the fridge and use as a "quick pickled vegetable".