One of the recipes I found very intriguing was the Lemon and Bay Leaf Bean Pickles. The recipe uses a combination of yellow and green beans and adds the peel of a lemon and bay leaves as a unique flavor to the classic brine; almost equal parts water and vinegar, and a bit of sugar to cut the tartness. I was excited to see that Whitney on my FB page had decided to give the recipe a try and was also gracious enough to let me use her photo to share.
Whitney found the recipe pretty easy. "After I trimmed all those green beans and put them in the pot, I was sure there was no way they were going to fit in four jars, but they did. That's a lot of green beans! I think the yellow beans would be really pretty too, but soooo not available in my tiny town.", Whitney explained. I copied this quote from her comment because sometime I forget how blessed I am that I live in a town that has a farmers market and some of the best year round growing conditions in the country. Tiny town or not, thank you Whitney for sharing your experience with me.
Lemon-and-Bay Leaf Bean Pickles
2 3/4 cups water
|Whitney's Lemon-and-Bay Leaf Bean Pickles|
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
1 T. pickling salt
2 1/4 pounds fresh green and/or yellow beans, trimmed (11 cups)
8 bay leaves
4 t. whole black peppercorns (red ones would be fun for color)
8 strips lemon peel
In a 6 to 8 quart stainless-steel enamel or nonstick heavy pot, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boiling over medium high heat, stirring constantly until sugar and salt dissolve. Add beans, return to boiling. Boil for 1 minute. Drain beans, reserving the liquid. Return reserved liquid to the pot. Return to a simmer, cover.
Pack hot beans lengthwise into four hot sterilized pint jars, adding two of the bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the peppercorns and two strips of the lemon peel to each jar.
Pour boiling liquid over beans in jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles from jars and fill to headspace if needed. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes(start timing when water returns to boiling).
Makes 4 pints.
The note in the preface of the recipe says: "Although they're good just for munching these citrusy pickled green beans also provide a superb garnish for a spicy bloody mary".