Apologies for the tiny hiatus from the blog, friends! Oof, it’s been a busy end of summer over here. I’m coming off a couple consecutive weekends of family visits and road trips out of the city. We returned to a chill in the air in Seattle, and for the first time in my life (probably) I’m not completely lamenting the end of summer.
Summer might be my favorite season but it was a dry one here in Seattle. I missed the rain! I love how lush and green this city and its surrounding areas get after a couple months of consistent rain. We need it badly and fall will deliver it.
Another reason I’m feeling happy instead of depressed that summer is coming to a close is the chance to stick inside a bit more, get work done that’s needed my attention for a few weeks and just generally get caught up on life stuff.
The older I get the more I realize I’m a homebody. I like being at home, in my space, with its familiar scenery and predictable sources of inspiration. Sure, I like exploring and traveling and seeing new places and having new experiences, but in moderation. And that’s okay.
I’m starting to realize that one of the best paths to happiness is this:
And further: Accept yourself for who you are.
These aren’t groundbreaking new ideas here, but truly living by them is a daily process. And it’s not easy. So often I want to be someone else, someone who is not me but who I think I will like being. More often than not, my ideas and plans for myself are not true to who I actually am, and what I actually enjoy doing. Knowing the difference is key.
Pickled Green Beans
What I’m really trying to say is that I like pickled green beans. I’m admitting to you all here today that this is my favorite way to eat green beans. It’s the only way I’ve been eating green beans recently. And that’s okay.
Remember, know yourself 😛
These green beans stay super crisp and crunchy and salty and garlicky (and a bit spicy, too!). They’re a refreshing and satisfying snack. They keep for weeks in the fridge so you can crack into a jar any time you have a craving. These are my kinda pickles!
I make a lot of slow-fermented pickles in my kitchen, but sometimes I just want to use hot vinegar brine or make a quick pickle. This pickled green bean recipe is my goto when I need something simple, quick, and foolproof.
The best part about this recipe is that the ratios I’ve listed below are for a small amount of green beans. So you can make this even if you only have about a pound or two of these green beauties.
Also, it doesn’t require loads of fresh dill. I love dill but it’s really difficult to find at the market and usually comes in plastic packaging at the grocery store. This recipe doesn’t really need fresh dill, but if you have it, you should use it!
And you don’t need to spend half a day in your kitchen pickling, canning, waiting, etc. You heat up the brine quickly on the stove. While it heats, pack the beans into your jars. Within minutes, the brine is boiling, the jars are packed, and you pour the hot liquid over the beans. Then you let them sit, with a top loosely covering, until they come to room temp. Then you refrigerate. And you’re done. That’s it!
The only problem with this recipe? It’s recommended you should let them sit about a week in the fridge before enjoying them. This presumably allows the green beans to fully soak up their brine. But I won’t tell if you dip into your jar sooner than that. We may have done the same over here 😉
How I Bought The Ingredients Zero Waste
I’m going to add these little notes into each blog post so you know how it’s possible to reduce your waste but still make delicious things like pickled green beans. I want you to see that it’s possible and achievable, and not perfect. Most importantly, not perfect.
Green beans – Purchased at my farmers market in my own cloth bag. When green beans are in season, the market has piles of them, unpackaged, so you can pick your own. Love this.
Distilled white vinegar – I do not have a way to purchase unpackaged distilled white vinegar in my area. So I buy the glass bottles, the largest size available at my grocery store. I can repurpose these bottles to hold various oils, or other bulk liquids I might take home from the store.
Water – Welp, tap water works just fine for these. No aeration needed because these are not fermented, and the water is boiled with the vinegar anyway. Chlorine is removed through boiling.
Kosher salt – Purchased in the bulk section of my store with my own glass jar.
Garlic – I either get my garlic from the grocery store (and accept the “Organic” produce stickers as trash) or buy from my farmers market. Pricier at the farmers market though, so I usually go for the grocery store garlic.
Pickling spice blend – I found a great blend in the bulk section of my grocery store. Filled a small glass jar I had brought from home. This blend has allspice, cloves, mustard seeds, dried red peppers and more, which makes for a great brine. Yes, you can certainly make your own “pickling spice blend” to customize the flavors you like most. Maybe one day I’ll do the same… 🙂
Red pepper flakes – Also purchased at the bulk section of my grocery store in a small glass jar I brought from home. We go through tons of this and buying the bulk variety seems to mean the pepper spice is a bit fresher AKA it’s more potent. So watch out!
Easiest Pickled Green Beans Recipe
You will need:
2 clean 16 oz mason jars (wide mouth preferred but not required) with their tops
A small pot/saucepan
A wooden spoon
1-2 lb green beans, cleaned and trimmed
1.5 cups white vinegar
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp kosher salt
4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed, divided
2 tsp pickling spice blend, divided
1 tsp red pepper flakes, divided
In a small pot over medium heat, bring vinegar, water, and salt to a boil.
Pack green beans, garlic and spices into two clean pint jars.
Remove the vinegar brine from heat and pour directly over green beans.
Put the tops on the jars, loosely, and let cool to room temp.
Store in fridge. Enjoy after about a week of sitting in the fridge (we couldn’t wait that long 😉)
Notes: These will keep for at least a few weeks in the fridge. The ones we’re still munching on lasted over a month and maintained their crispness.