04 January 2009

The Joy of Pickling

I am a firm believer in having multiple cookbooks on every topic. But if you want to start pickling, the one book you should pick up is Linda Ziedrich’s, The Joy of Pickling. It offers a great combination of general information with recipes that range from basic cucumber pickles to pickled pigs feet.

I always have an abundance of green beans. I am not fond of frozen green beans, so I like to pickle several jars at the end of the season. This is a quick and easy recipe to save a bit of summer.

Basil Green Beans

6 cloves of garlic
36 black peppercorns
3 pounds young, tender, snap beans, trimmed, if necessary, to 4 inches
12 basil sprigs
3 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
2 T pickling salt

1. Into each of 6 sterile pint mason jars, put one sliced garlic clove and six peppercorns. Pack the beans vertically into the jars, adding two basil sprigs to each jar.

2. In a nonreactive saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water and salt. Pour the hot liquid over the beans leaving 1/2 inch head space. Close the jars with hot, two-piece caps. Process the jars for 5 minutes in a boiling -water bath, or pasteurize then for thirty minutes in water heated to 180- 185 degrees F.

3. Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place for at least one month.

Pop open the jar on a particularly snowy day and think back on your garden!

P.S. In May of 2009, anew edition of this classic book will be published. Stay tuned!

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