I had several people tell me they have a lot of beans and aren’t sure what to do with them. Whenever you are in doubt as to what to do with something, my fall back is always pickling. I love pickled vegetables as a snack, and adding interesting pickled vegetables to a relish tray takes it to a new level. When I make a simple pasta salad for an event, I toss Italian dressing with pasta and throw in pickled vegetables.
So, here is how I pickled green beans last week. This tecnique can be applied to nearly all vegetables. I have used this simple brine as the base for pickled snow peas, onions, peppers, hot peppers-all with good results. I start with the basic brine. I mix it on the stove and get it going. Meanwhile, I wash and sterilize my jars. To the bottom of the jars I add extras. For instance, if I want a spicy mix, I will stick in a small hot pepper or some dried pepper flakes. If I want a dill flavor, I add a head of fresh dill. You can add garlic cloves, spices, let your imagination run wild. I tried ginger and wasabi powder in one batch and curry powder in another. (I will let you know how it tastes.) Take prepared veggies (washed, trimmed, etc) and fill your jars.
Stir your brine to dissolve any sugar or salt. While liquid is boiling, ladle hot brine over the veggies. Put on the lids and rings, and tighten. At this point, you can process your veggies in a bath of boiling water for about 10 minutes. For crisper veggies, you can cool and simply store in the fridge. It is simply that easy. Allow at least a couple of days but preferably a week for the brine to completely pickle your veggies. If you have added spices, allow even a little more time for best results.
1 1/4 cups white distilled vinegar
1 1/4 cups cold water
1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt
1 tablespoon sugar