Tag Archives: Garlic

Quick Pickled Green Beans

beans_spices_and_garlic_oh_my

This year, we have so many green beans (and purple, and yellow) that it’s a little hard to keep up. Between a 4′ x 4′ plot of bush beans and a couple trellises of climbing beans, I’m lugging a big basket of pods into the house every morning.

stages_of_bean_development

And when I find myself staring at a pile of fresh beans that I don’t feel like blanching and sealing for the freezer, I turn to the easiest possible method of preserving them, quick pickled green beans:

pack_raw_beans_in_jars_with_spices

Note that these pickled green beans are not the standard hot-processed “Dilly Beans,” which I’ve tried to embrace on many occasions but always found limp and aggressively vinegary. These beans are another story altogether. I included instructions for hot-processing these as well, if you feel you must, but I almost never bother canning my beans.

Quick pickles are great for two reasons: First, they aren’t all limp like their boiled counterparts. And more importantly, they couldn’t be easier. Just cram your vegetables and some spices into a jar, add vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio, and pop it in the fridge. They don’t keep for years like hot-processed pickles, but once you taste them they won’t be sticking around longer than a month anyway.

Quick Pickled Green Beans

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3 quarts

Quick Pickled Green Beans

Delicious, crunchy, and perfect alongside a Bloody Mary (or a sandwich).

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds green beans, stems intact, washed and dried
  • 9 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 6 tablespoons dill seeds
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 9 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 cups white distilled vinegar
  • a handful of washed fresh grape leaves (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pack green beans evenly into quart-sized jars, along with garlic, salt, spices, and grape leaves if using.
  2. Fill jars halfway with white vinegar, then top off with cool filtered water.
  3. Put lids on jars and flip upside down for a few minutes to distribute the spices.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3 days to develop flavors. Pickles will be at their prime in 2 weeks, and will last up to a month.
  5. To can:
  6. Heat vinegar, water, and salt to a boil first, and pour over beans and spices in sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, adding time for altitude (I process for 15 minutes here at 6,000 feet).

Notes

Adapted from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon.

http://www.homegrowngourmet.org/quick-pickled-green-beans/

Pan-browned Brussels Sprouts

I don’t think I ever saw brussels sprouts on the dinner menu growing up, but I feared them nonetheless. Hearing my elementary school classmates describe being forced to eat them was enough.

sprouts_washed

So maybe it’s a good thing that my first memorable experience with brussels sprouts was a few years ago, when I was part of a CSA and one week found myself with a bunch of them still on the stalk. Fridge space was limited, so I cooked them immediately.¬†And as it turns out, brussels sprouts are delicious! Especially when given a good dose of butter and garlic and a sprinkling of pine nuts to bring out their sweet, nutty flavor.

brussels_sprouts_cooking

I’ve tried to grow them every year since, and always end up with big beautiful stalks but no sprouts (they’re hard to grow in Colorado but I’ll get the timing right, someday.) So I get them from the farmer’s market once in a blue moon, but usually I can only find sprouts that are flown in from California or Mexico. Friends on the West Coast, I envy you.

brussels_sprouts_finished

But if you find yourself in possession of some sprouts, these crunchy, buttery little bites are perfect as an appetizer with a cold beer. They rarely make it to the dinner table in my house (although they make a great side dish, when they do.) I’ve won over a number of sprout-haters with this recipe, and I like to think it’ll work the same magic on any picky eaters you happen to be feeding.

Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Special Equipment
  • 10-inch heavy skillet, preferably cast iron

Instructions

  1. Peel any blemished or dirty outer leaves from brussels sprouts while rinsing in cold water.
  2. Trim off stems and halve lengthwise.
  3. Thinly slice garlic cloves.
  4. Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add garlic, removing pieces to a bowl as they turn golden brown.
  5. Reduce heat to low and arrange brussels sprouts in skillet, cut side down
  6. Sprinkle with pine nuts and season with salt and pepper
  7. Cook, uncovered, until undersides are golden brown, about 15 minutes
  8. As brussels sprouts brown, use tongs to move them to a platter (you may need to move undercooked sprouts from the edge of the pan to the center to even out cooking time.)
  9. Spoon pine nuts over brussels sprouts and season with pepper.

Notes

Adapted from Gourmet.

http://www.homegrowngourmet.org/pan-browned-brussels-sprouts/