By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times
“It has been a banner year for green beans and wax beans this year,” says novelist and food blogger Jane Ward.
With the abundance of wax beans from her Amesbury garden, this year Ward wanted to find an alternative way to prepare them that differed from the traditional steaming process typically associated with beans.
Pickling is a fun and easy way to experiment with different fruits and vegetables. With her recipe, Ward shows us that pickling is as simple as adding ingredients to a jar. Says Ward, “Pickled wax beans are a great way to jazz up your salads,” not to mention that pickled beans offer a new way to prepare a side of vegetables for dinner. Ward spices up her beans with some garlic, coriander, crushed red pepper, peppercorn and a bay leaf. Not only do these spices look beautiful mixed in with the seasonal yellow of the beans, but they also give the wax beans a “zippy and zesty” taste that really makes them shine, says Ward.
This recipe is the perfect example of making an easy, delicious pickle that will be ready to enjoy hours after you make it. Whether it be a holiday table, or just a weeknight dinner, these pickled wax beans will add something unique and special.
Pickled Wax Beans
1 pound wax beans, washed and trimmed
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon peppercorn
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1. Steam wax beans before pickling so that they are a little tender, but still crisp. Then remove each end and the strings of each bean.
2. Fit as many beans as you can in a 1 quart jar.
3. Add garlic, coriander, red pepper, peppercorn, bay leaf, sugar and salt into the jar.
4. In a small sauce pan heat vinegar and water until liquid comes to a boil.
5. Pour hot brine into the jar. Cover the jar and shake lightly to mix ingredients.
For refrigerator pickles, let the jar come to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator until serving.
If you want to make pickles that will store longer, ladle the hot brine over beans into the jar, leaving a 1/4- to 1/2-inch of head space. Tap the jar on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim dry with a clean paper towel. Center the lid on jar and apply band, screw it on but not too tightly.
Process the jar in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. Within several minutes of removing the jar from the boiling water bath, you should hear the “thunk” sound of the lid vacuum sealing. If not, return any unsealed jar to the water bath and process an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the hot jar from the canner and let it sit on a folded towel on the counter overnight. The next day, the jar may be placed in the pantry or cupboard for long-term storage
Recipe courtesy of Jane Ward, 2012.