Spicy Italian Pickled Beans

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A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to pick beautiful beans in a good friend’s garden. I wanted to surprise her with some pickled beans as I know she loves the ones that many restaurants are now serving in Caesars. While picking the beans I helped myself to a little bit of basil and a couple of picante peppers. I had found a number of recipes for spicy beans but I wanted to come up with a recipe to honour her bountiful garden all the while trying to maintain a lower sodium recipe.

If you like a little heat, garlic and basil – these beans are perfect for your next Caesar.

Spicy Italian Pickled  Beans

Makes 4 or 5 –  500 ml wide mouth jars

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds green beans (6 litres)
  • 2 long thin red chilies (use gloves when handling!)
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1/8 cup fresh dill
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar or a combo of red wine and white vinegars
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 2-3 fresh sprigs of basil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

Trim ends off the green beans. Blanch beans for 1 minute and immediately immerse in ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain & cut to fit into jars if necessary. Prepare jars, rings and lids for canning.

Bring water, vinegar, salt and parsley to a boil. Fill each jar with beans until they are snug. Divide peppercorns, dill, chilies, garlic and basil amongst jars – insert into beans packed in jar (along sides). Ladle the boiled pickling liquid into the jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars, apply lid and screw on rings. Process in boiling water bath for 12 minutes. Remove carefully and allow to cool to room temperature. During this cooling time, you’ll hear quiet pops letting you know your jars have sealed. If by the next day, some of the jars haven’t sealed, you can store in refrigerator to be eaten as soon as possible. Allow the sealed jars to sit at least one month in a cool, dark place before opening.

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