Monday, August 13, 2012

Refrigerator pickle madness

Has the pickling bug caught you yet? It's definitely increasing in popularity, and there are a million and one new recipe books I'm dying to get my hands on. That said, I haven't gotten beyond refrigerator pickles yet. Yes, it's true. But I'm all over those like crazy. This recipe has become my go-to for every which way of veggie. It doesn't even involve heating the brine. It's the perfect balance of tart and crunch with a little bit of zing from the red peppers and lots of garlicky bite. I've tried it with cucumbers — both spears and slices, green beans, radishes and carrots. I just keep adding to the jar as I eat my way through them, topping up with some new brine as necessary. They seem to best the first week, though I'm not sure we've had any that weren't gobbled up in that time around here! 

Spicy Garlic Dilly Beans
Adapted from Eat.Repeat

Approx. 1/2 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
2 to 3 cloves garlic
3 to 4 springs fresh dill
1/4 tsp dill seed
1/4 tsp mustard seed
1/4 tsp whole peppercorns
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp pickling salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water

Wash a pint-sized mason jar with hot, soapy water.
Measure dill seed, mustard, peppercorns and pepper flakes into the bottom of your jar.
Pack beans into jar vertically. Slip garlic cloves in between beans.
In a separate jar combine salt, vinegar, and water. Shake until salt is dissolved then pour over beans.
Refrigerate beans for at least 24 hours.