Dilly Beans

Dilly Beans are basically a pickled green bean.  I prefer to pickle the young, tender beans from the plants’ first harvest because the beans are nice and straight, making them an easier fit for my pint jars.  (Subsequent harvests tend to have beans that curl more.)  I usually leave the ends on my beans before pickling, which makes a nice little “handle” for pulling them from the jars when they’re ready to eat.

I would think that any dill pickle recipe could be used with green beans, but this is the one I typically use for mine.  When I have access, I will also add half of a seeded jalapeno to my jars.

2 pounds (ish) green beans, washed well
1/4 c. salt
2 1/2 c. vinegar (white or apple cider)
2 1/2 c. water
4-8 cloves peeled garlic
4 heads dill

Combine salt, vinegar and water in large pot; bring to a boil.

Pack beans lengthwise into hot, clean pint jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.

Add 1-2 cloves garlic and 1 head dill to each jar.

Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Adjust lids and bands.

Process pints for 10 minutes in hot water bath.

Makes 4 pints.

As you can see, I have pickled all manner of veggies when I have them available. I especially enjoyed these pickled carrot sticks!

 

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Chili-Glazed Green Beans

I recently tried this tasty recipe on a group of women in my house.  By the time my husband got home to give ’em a taste test, there was not a bean left in the skillet.  So, I made them for my family this week, and they were a hit.

I found the recipe in The Happy Cook by Daphne Oz.  I’ve adapted it for our family, and I am listing the recipe as I made it.

1 T. Asian chili sauce
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. honey
1 T. grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs. green beans, ends trimmed
1 T. sesame oil
1/2 c. roasted, salted peanuts

In small bowl, combine chili sauce, soy sauce, honey, ginger and garlic.

Bring medium saucepan of water to boil and blanch beans 4-8 minutes, depending on how soft you like them.  Remove beans and put in ice water bath to stop cooking.

Heat large skillet over high heat for 2 minutes.  Add oil, heating until it shimmers, then add beans.  Cook on high, shaking the pan often, until the beans begin to color and blister (about 3-5 minutes).

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The blistering and coloring will give the beans added flavor.

Add sauce mixture to the skillet and toss beans to coat.  Cook for about a minute, then transfer to serving dish.  Top with peanuts and serve hot.  (I served them from the skillet for my informal gathering, and we discovered that they’re quite tasty even when not piping hot.)

Creamy Swiss Cheese Green Bean Casserole

This is a great twist on an old favorite–without the canned soups. Yum!

4 c. green beans, washed, snapped & blanched
6 T. butter
¼ c. flour
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
2 tsp. sugar
2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. ground mustard
2 c. Swiss cheese, grated
½ c. cracker crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 and spray 9” baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt 4 T. butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, sugar and mustard, whisking continually until bubbles form.

Lower heat and stir in sour cream, whisking until thickened. Fold in green beans until coated.

Spread beans in baking dish and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Melt remaining butter and toss with cracker crumbs; sprinkle over top of casserole.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and crumbs are golden brown.