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Dear Miss Ginsu: Pickling green beans?

Dear Miss Ginsu,

We have a huge bean harvest — got any recipes for pickled beans?

— Swimming in 'em

garden beans

Dear Swimmer,

Oh, how I lurv pickled beans! They're so very tasty. And texture-wise, I prefer 'em to pickled cucumbers. In fact, I hope there's still some CSA or farmers' market beans to be had. If I can keep from just boiling and eating them straight away, I'd like to get some into jars.

You can really just use any regular dill pickle brine recipe — bring it up to a boil, pour it over beans packed in jars, cool 'em and throw 'em in the fridge.

Or you can do the whole canning thing if you're inspired, though I'm rarely up to actually canning, so the refrigerator pickles are fine by me.

Here's a spiced vinegar brine that's good for pickling beets and beans and other stuff:

Spicy Bean Pickling Brine (Makes enough brine for about 1 quart of beans)

2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2" piece horseradish root, sliced thin (or 1 tbsp grated horseradish)
1/2 tsp whole allspice
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed

1. Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, horseradish, allspice, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves to a boil.

2. Place the cleaned, trimmed beans in a sterile quart jar. Carefully pour the hot brine over the beans.

3. Cap the jar, cool it down, refrigerate and wait a week before munching.

Enjoy your pickled beans as-is, or standing proud in Bloody Marys, or displayed among appetizer assortments, or chopped up in salads. Try them tossed into a summer succotash or served alongside a plate of Middle Eastern-style mezze delights. Nom!

Yours in pickle worship,
Miss Ginsu

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