Dill Green Beans

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Pickled beans have always been a favorite of mine.  I remember once when I was about 12, we went to a silent auction and the only thing I wanted to bid on, besides a flourescent pink ski parka, were the pickled green beans.  I remember savoring that jar of beans.  Weird how those memories can stay with you.  Anyway, since then I have been pickling my own green beans and am excited to share my favorite recipe with you!  This recipe comes from one of my favorite canning books, Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.  I have mentioned this book before, because it is one of my favorites for a quick and dirty lesson on canning and the recipes included both capture the traditional as well as the innovative.

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Since time is short and summer is busy, we’re going to get right down to it today.  We grew green beans in our garden again this year.  They are doing well, but I did need to supplement with more beans from the store.  If you have never pickled, this is an excellent recipe to begin your canning adventure with.  It is incredibly easy and the only part that takes any time at all is trimming the beans.  It is so easy and you will be very happy once you have tried this project… Your bloody mary recipe will thank you as well.

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Dilly Beans

yield: approximately 4 pint (500 mL) jars

4 cups white vinegar

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 cups water

3 tablespoons kosher salt

4 pounds green beans, trimmed to fit in jars

Per Jar:

3 dill sprigs or 1 dill head

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seed

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

Prepare canning water, jars, and lids.

In a large steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.

Place dill, garlic, mustard seeds, and peppercorns in each hot jar.  Pack the beans in tightly.

Pour boiling brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace and making sure the beans are covered in liquid.  Check for air bubbles, wipe the rims, and seal.

Process for 10 minutes in water bath, adjusting for elevation.

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A few more tips:  Remember that canning is about preserving great produce, so can with the best ingredients you can find.  When packing jars for pickling, pack the jars as tightly as possible, without bruising produce, as the liquid will make everything float and ingredients will shift around.  Canning, especially if you are just beginning, is always more fun with a friend or two.  Use this project as the excuse to get together with a like-minded friend!  The act of having a project to do together always takes away the guilt I feel when just getting together with someone for coffee and a much-needed catch up.  That may not be your hang up, but it is one of mine.

Happy Pickling!

Author Note:  You might notice that one of these jars has carrots in it.  That is another quick tip.  If you have extra jars all ready to go, give your fridge a quick look to see if anything else in there could stand to be pickled!  Fun way to experiment with new combinations.  Also, this project happened in a post-bedtime burst of productivity, so the photos are not perfect.  These projects happen when they can happen in my life, so that’s the way it goes!  Hope it still inspires you to create!

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