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Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans

I hate wasting food.  It burns a deep hole of regret and loss in my heart whenever I realize that I have let something go just beyond the expiration date and I have to throw it out.  And for some reason, this always happens with green beans.  I love eating them, but they have no staying power in my brain and once I buy ‘em, I forget about them.

This was a serious problem last week when I let a little old lady bully me into buying a bag of green beans and the smaller bag of haricot verts from Trader Joe’s last week.  She actually put the bag of haricot verts in my shopping cart for me, and silently glared at me so hard when I tried to take them out that I got scared and put them back in.

Double the green beans, double the panic when a week went by and I hadn’t opened either bag.

Enter: refrigerator pickles.  (Note: this is not a sterile canning and needs to stay refrigerated!)

Refrigerator Pickled Green Beans

  • 12 oz haricot verts (you could use up to two pounds of green beans–use more jars as necessary and keep the recipe the same–top off with water as required)
  • 2 1/2 C white vinegar
  • 3 C water
  • 1/4 C salt
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 t dill seeds
  • 2 t caraway seeds
  • 4-6 bay leaves

I only used the smaller bag of haricot verts from Trader Joe’s, but the bigger bag of green beans could have worked, too–just would have needed an extra jar.  The ratio of ingredients isn’t crucial here because this isn’t a technical canning process.

Divide the green beans among the jars–I used a pint-sized jar and a quart-sized jar.  You don’t need to cook them–just trim them and wash them. I added two bay leaves to each jar, 1-2 cloves of garlic, and divided the seeds between the jars (1/2 t in the small jar, 1 1/2 t in the larger jar).

Bring the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a boil.  Once the sugar and salt has dissolved, pour the liquid over the beans–easier to divide if you use equally sized jars, but do your best.  Top off with boiling water until you reach the top of the jar.

Cap the jars and refrigerate!  You are supposed to wait a week or so, but I broke into the smaller jar in a couple of days and it was delicious.

The second jar was used in the creation of a super-delicious cold salad that you’ll be seeing later.

Combined with fall leaves in the background, there’s not much prettier than beans in a ball jar.

Well, there’s a lot of stuff that’s prettier, but I still like it.

And Henry can’t keep his nose outta my business, as usual.

And I’m glad that old lady harassed me about the haricot verts.

Fritz and I are as prepared as we are gonna get for hurricane Sandy, with a few varieties of pumpkin beer and a bottle of Merlot.

Oh, and water and non-perishable foods and all that stuff.  Just in case.  I definitely find myself getting a little nervous as more and more reports of 10-foot surges and 14-day power outages keep appearing.  And texts from my mom urging me to leave Long Island.  We are not in a low-lying area, however, so I’m thinking we should be fine.  Plus, Fritz and I already got the day off from school/work tomorrow.

How have you prepared for Sandy?

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  1. Maria

    You crossed my mind today as we watched the news. I’m way over in California and have never met you, but reading your blog connects us foodies. Hoping you two (three, including Henry) are safe through all this. Do let us know once it passes!

  2. Cara

    This may seem like a silly question, but how do you eat these beans? Warmed? Cold as a side to a sandwich or veg burger? Just wondering what you pair them with?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’ve been eating them cold as a side, but I imagine you could eat them warm.

    2. Lauren Zietsman

      They are probably best as an ingredient in a cold salad!

  3. Cara

    Great, thanks! And there is always 3 bean salad of course. Can’t wait to try em’.

  4. heidi

    We just got a bunch of white and purple string beans in our CSA. I wonder if they’d work. We enjoy pickled green beans in Bloody Marys. It’s great. Plus, pickled green beans are so expensive at the store.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I think it would definitely work! Maybe blanch the beans quickly first?

  5. eric

    how long will they keep?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      A few weeks :)

  6. Linda

    How many jars does this recipe make?

  7. Jack

    We had these in New Orleans. They re good by themselves, but also great with a Bloody Mary.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      excellent use for a pickled veggie! ;)

  8. Marge Hemphill

    Could these be water bathed and kept longer as canned?

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