Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lemon-and-Bay-Leaf Pickled Green Beans

During one of my 57 visits to Lowe's in the last few months, I made an impulse purchase (okay, there were probably a few impulse purchases, but this one has proven the most fun).  It was a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Canning.  I'm working my way through this cookbook/magazine and have made a few recipes, and adapted a couple others.  I'm really enjoying it, and recommend it to anyone interested in canning as a food preservation method. 

Lemon-and-Bay-Leaf Pickled Green Beans
recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Canning special interest publication, 2011 edition

makes 4 pints

2 3/4 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon pickling salt
2 1/4 pounds (11 cups) fresh green and yellow beans, ends trimmed
8 bay leaves
4 teaspoons whole peppercorns (I used a mix of red, green and black)
8 strips lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler to make these, then squeeze the lemons for the juice called for in this recipe)

1.  In an 8-quart stainless-steel, enamel or nonstick heavy pot, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and pickling salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar and salt dissolve.

2.  Add beans to liquid and return to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Drain beans; reserve the liquid.  Set beans aside and return pickling liquid to a simmer and cover.

3.  Place 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns and 2 strips of lemon peel to each of the 4 hot, sterilized pint jars.  Pack the hot beans into them, lengthwise.

4.  Pour boiling pickling liquid over beans in jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles in filled jars.  Secure lids and rings.

5.  Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when the water returns to boiling after adding the jars).  Remove jars from canner and cool on wire racks.

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