Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Spicy Pickled Dilly Beans
Pint Jars of Fresh Canned Green Beans
This year I decided to do a whole lot more pickling with all sorts of garden goodies. The bush green beans and Cherokee yellow wax beans are the first to be harvested in abundance. I've been busy picking beans everyday for over a week.
I'm thinking these will be great this next winter when all of the plentiful salad greens and cole crops are readily available in the garden. That is when I am usually really missing things like pickled okra, squash, green beans, peppers and cucumbers that would go so great with a fresh garden salad.
Pickles of all sorts are easy to can and take very little equipment. Basically a enameled pot for the hot water bath, your jars and lids, canning tongs and a canning funnel will take care of everything. It is usually all available to purchase at most supermarkets or local hardware stores. You may even find things online to make your shopping easier.
With things like fresh garlic, peppers and dill all available at the same time from the garden as the bush beans you can create a very flavorful Dilly Bean Pickle.
After I finish picking beans for the day, I cull them. To cull I simply pick out all of the nicest straight and long beans for canning. I try to keep them all about the same thickness as well. This will help them process more evenly and look pretty in the jar too.
Makes 4 Pints
Bush Beans, green, yellow and purple (Approximately 3 pounds)
4 large nice fresh dill heads with about 1 inch of stem intact
4 large fresh garlic cloves (each sliced in three pieces)
4 slender peppers with a small slit cut in the side (I used Shisito Peppers for these)
1 tsp. of celery seed
1 tsp. of black mustard seed
2 1/2 cup of 5% white vinegar
2 1/2 cup of distilled water
4 tbsp. Kosher Salt
Note: Using distilled water for pickles will assure a crispier pickle. Well water or hard water has so many minerals that it usually causes pickles to be to soft or even mushy.
First get your canner and jars filled with water and put on the stove. Turn on high with the lid on. It takes awhile to get a large canner boiling. Once your jars have boiled in the bath, turn the heat off and let it cool just a tad with the lid off. Then you can drop your lids and bands down in the water to sterilize them as well.
The reason I like to start with that is because by the time everything else is ready the water will still be pretty hot in the canner and won't take long to heat back up with the jars are packed with goodies and lids sealed for the bath process.
I usually have my beans ready as well. After I culled the ones I want to use for the pickles, I cut them to size to fit the jars. Things need to be at least 1/2 inch from the top, including your liquid.
Next in a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and salt and bring to a simmer. This is the base or the brine. Turn the heat off and put a lid on it.
Lift the water filled jars out of the canner with your tongs. Poor the water back into the pot. Set each hot jar on a thick towel. Put one dill head, one sliced garlic clove, one pepper, 1/4 tsp of celery seed and 1/4 black mustard seed per each jar.
Next pack the beans length ways tight into each jar. Make sure you are leaving 1/2 inch head space in the jar.
Turn that large canning pot back on high with the lid on to start letting it heat back up.
Place your wide mouth canning funnel over each jar and spoon in the liquid brine. You may need to run a narrow spatula down through the side of the jar to let bubbles out. The funnel will help keep the rims of your jars dry and clean. To be sure, I usually use a paper towel and carefully dab the rim. Place on the caps and screw bands.
With your tongs lift each jar back into the canner. Place the lid back on and set your timer for a 15 minute hot water bath. At the end of the time lift the jars back out and place back onto your towel to cool. Keep your hot jars away from drafts or fans and let them cool naturally.
Once they begin to cool, you will begin to hear that wonderful popping noise the lids make as they begin to suck down and seal.