Somethings are hard to find in life and two of those things are a good best friend and some good spicy pickled beans. Lucky for me, I happen to have both!
For ages now my Best Friend has been wanting to pickle beans. She has a love a a good Ceasar (very Canadian huh?) and nothing goes better with a Caesar than a perfectly pickled green bean. There I was this weekend faced with a whole bag of beans fresh from the market and the craving to pickle something. It was like the stars aligned and so I gathered my pickling stuff and got the big pot boiling.
Pickled green beans are among the more easy things to produce. The most difficult decision that you have to make is what you want to stick into that jar to make them taste just right. If you ask me, there are a couple of must haves. The first one is garlic. I actually don’t think that you can pickle anything without some garlic cloves shoved in there. The second must have is a bay leaf. Bay brings a certain savoury flavour that brings out the richness of almost any pickle. Because these are spicy beans, you are also going to need to think chilis. When I am adding heat to anything I like to vary the type of heat so that it is not just a burning on your tongue but also at the back of the throat and at the tip of the tongue and it you can get it to come in waves, then you are really onto something.
I think that the most difficult thing about this entire process is cutting the beans to the same length (after measuring the jar) and then trying to pack as many in as you can while getting them all to stand up. If you happen to have a particularly sensitivity to order and precision, this might take a while. I also like to have them all sticking up with the little pointy bottoms at the top but that is just me. The world is divided into those who stand them straight up, those who cram them all in and those who simply refuse to pickle. You will soon find out which camp you belong to and then as you sit back in 6 weeks drinking a Ceasar and contemplating your place in the world, it will all make sense. If not, add more vodka…you will get there.
Did I mention that my Best Friend is writing an book? Not just any book my friends, but a particularly spicy piece of erotic fiction (yep I wrote that, not a typo).
Spicy beans, spicy book… grab the vodka and the Clamato (straight tomato juice for us Vegetarians) and add the perfect touch!
Spicy Pickled Beans
Spicy, tangy and begging for a drink!
- 500 grams of green beans
- 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp pickling salt
- 1 tbsp red crushed red chilis ( I use the stuff for kimchi making but chilis flakes would work too)
- a small handful of dried chilis (more or less depending on how hot you like it
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 allspice berries
- 2 large cloves of garlic (or 4 small ones)
- 2 large bay leaves
- Heat a large pot and drop in two medium mason jars and their lid and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize.
- Wash your green beans and cut them to the length that they need to be to fit into the jars.
- Crush the garlic and add it to a medium saucepan with the remaining ingredients and bring them to a boil.
- Once boiled, remove the pickling liquid from the heat and fish out the garlic, the bay leaves and the allspice berries and divide them evenly into the two jars.
- Pack the beans into the jars then top off with the pickling liquid.
- Tap the jars to make sure that there are no air bubbles.
- Screw on the lids to the jars and return to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the boiling water (carefully) and let the jars cool.
- Wait 6 weeks or so before testing the beans.
- It is completely possible that the garlic will turn green. This is a reaction to the salt. It happens, it is completely fine, just go with it.
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