A great day for beans! Today I made Sweet Dill Beans and Bean Salad. I added some crushed pepper flakes to some of the pickled beans for a little added "zip". The recipe called for only green beans but as I had both green and yellow beans, that's what I used!

The Bean Salad will keep in the fridge for days so is great for company as you can make it in advance.

Sweet Dill Beans

4 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 cup pickling vinegar

1/4 cup pickling salt

2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans

garlic

dill

red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Sterilize 6 pint jars with rings and lids and keep hot. Trim beans to 1/4" shorter than your jars.

2. In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Place dill, garlic and red pepper flakes in each jar. Pack the beans tightly, standing them on end. 

4. Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4" of the tops. Seal jars with lids and rings.

5. Place jars in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1" of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. Remove from water and allow to cool.

6. Allow the brine to absorb into the beans for 2 to 3 weeks before eating. 

Bean Salad

2 cups each green and yellow beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces

1 - 14 oz. can each kidney beans and chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 cup sliced onion rings

1 cup sliced celery

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup vinegar

2 tbsp. cooking oil

1. Cook beans in boiling water (or steam) until crisp tender. Rinse in cold water.

2. Place beans in a large bowl along with kidney beans, chick peas, onion and celery. 

3. In another bowl combine the sugar, mustard and salt. Stir together well. Add vinegar and oil and stir until dissolved. 

4. Pour dressing over bean mixture. Cover and store in refrigerator. Let stand at least 24 hours before serving.

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