All this week, ManMade is excited to be teaming up with America’s Test Kitchen to share lots of cool, DIY food crafts and ideas, any which would make an excellent weekend project or a great handmade holiday gift for your family and friends.
There is a decidely and very unfortunate number of people in my life who believe they don’t like pickles. It doesn’t matter what sort…they hear the P-word, and their mouths and their minds are closed.But, I don’t think I believe them. I think what they really don’t like is the combination of dill and cucumbers, which is certainly the most popular iteration in the U.S. but by no means exclusive. My friends and family like salt, acid, and sugar, but somehow the notion of one version of a mediocre pickle they tried as a kid has them swearing them off for life. I get it, to an extent – there are particular pickles I don’t particularly care for. Even the smell of storebought jarred neon-yellow bread and butters makes me nauseous.
But pickling and preserving can yield amazing results, and can be applied to so many things besides cucumbers, so I’m gonna whip up batches of these dilly green beans for Christmas gifts, and just call them “Green Bean Tasties.” I bet they’ll love ’em.
Recipe: Makes four 1-pint jars. Ready in one week
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 4-inch lengths
- 1⁄2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt (see page 70)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 2 cups fresh dill, stems and leaves chopped coarse
- 3 cups distilled white vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 6 tablespoons sugar
Step One: Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 6 quarts water to boil in large pot over high heat. Add green beans and 2 tablespoons salt and cook until beans are crisp-tender but still crunchy at core, about 1 minute. Transfer immediately to bowl of ice water and let sit until completely cool, about 2 minutes. Drain beans well. Evenly distribute garlic, peppercorns, and pepper flakes between jars with tight-fitting lids, then pack beans tightly into jars (make sure there is 3⁄4 inch between top of beans and jar rim).
Step Two: Bundle dill in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine to secure. Combine dill sachet, vinegar, water, sugar, and remaining 6 tablespoons salt in large saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 10 minutes. Discard dill sachet, then return brine to boil.
Step Three: Pour brine over beans to cover, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Let beans sit in refrigerator for 1 week before eating. Beans can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.
To Process for Long-Term Storage: After blanching and draining beans in step 1, set beans aside. Wait to pack jars with garlic, peppercorns, and pepper flakes until after preparing brine. Prepare brine as directed, then pack seasonings and blanched beans into hot, sterilized 1-pint jars. Pour hot brine over beans to cover, leaving 1⁄2 inch of headspace at top, and process jars following Canning 101 steps on page 71. Processing times depend on your altitude: 5 minutes for up to 1,000 feet, 10 minutes for 1,001 to 6,000 feet, and 15 minutes for above 6,000 feet. Store in cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
Bridget Lancaster from America’s Test Kitchen says,
Pouring [the brine] over the beans while hot jump-starts the pickling process (and is a must if you are going to process the jars for storage). Now the work is done; they just need to sit for one week before they’re good and pickled. When they’re ready, these dilly beans are tender, with a crisp snap at their very center. Be aware that if your garlic is very fresh, it will likely turn blue. Don’t worry; it’s just reacting to the acid.
Recipe by Bridget Lancaster. Photos by Anthony Tieuli.