Monday, August 23, 2010

Hot Pickled Beans with Banana Peppers

My scarlet runner beans and banana peppers grown in pots were very successful. I love pickled banana peppers on sandwiches, but an open half pint would last quite a while. So I decided to do a mix of half green beans (nice for nibbling) and half banana peppers. I modified a recipe I used last year from my Farm Journal's Freezing and Canning Cookbook.

Hot Pickled Beans
(with Banana Peppers)

2 lbs green beans
(I used half beans and half peppers)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic
4 dill heads
2 cups water
1/4 cup canning salt
2 cups 5% cider vinegar

This recipe makes four pints. I only had enough beans and peppers for three half pints, so I cut the liquid ingredients and salt in half.

Wash and stem the green beans and raw pack them blossom end down in hot, sterilized canning jars. I used shorter half pint (250 ml) jars, so I had to cut my beans to fit. Seed the peppers and cut them into rings. Put half beans and half peppers in each jar.

Add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes per jar (reduce or increase to taste). Add a clove of garlic and a fresh dill head per jar. My dill didn't grow this year, so I used some heads I dried last year.

Combine water, salt, and vinegar, and bring to a rolling boil in a non-reactive pan. Pour over the beans and peppers raw packed in the jars, leaving 1/4" space from the top. Use a stainless steel or plastic knife to remove any trapped air bubbles, wipe the jar rim, cover and seal with self-sealing lids and rings. Be sure to follow safe water bath canning procedures. My directions called for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

The snap of the lids during cooling helped reassure me the seals were good. After cooling and checking the seals, I put the jars in the downstairs bedroom (my coolest room) away from the light. Now they have to rest for several weeks for the flavours to marry.

Do you have any simple pickling recipes? I'd love to hear them. -- Margy