Sweet and Sour Pickled Green Beans
Sweet and Sour Pickled Green Beans

Sweet and Sour Pickled Green Beans

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  • Cook time:

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    Makes about 4 x 250g jars
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Summer is the season of plenty and many keen gardeners will have a glut of something, whether it’s beans, raspberries, plums or perhaps courgettes. This recipe is one answer if you have a surplus of green beans. Cooking these sweet and sour pickled green beans is not difficult and is actually very quick, but the preparation is time-consuming.

I find that a glass of wine, a chair, a chopping board and a sharp knife do the trick and, of course, if you have a friend to gossip with even better; the time passes by quickly and before you know it, the beans are prepared and all that is left to do is the cooking.

These sweet and sour pickled green beans are tasty served hot or cold and they will brighten up a picnic hamper beautifully. Serve them as a salad at a barbecue or as an accompaniment to a delicious homemade ham terrine with toasted sourdough bread. I like a large spoonful of these pickled beans on a slice of freshly baked bread with thick slices of Montgomery Cheddar and a cup of tea – a perfect lunch fit for a queen!photo of Sweet and Sour Pickled Green BeansPhoto of Sweet and Sour Pickled Green Beans

Ingredients & Method

  • 600g green beans (such as French beans, runner beans, bobby beans – whatever type of green beans you have a glut of)
  • 225ml malt vinegar
  • 15g cornflour
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 225g onions (peeled weight), finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (I like Sharwoods’ mild curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Top and tail the beans, then cut them diagonally into 2–3mm-thick slices in short lengths. Blanch the beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain and immediately plunge them into a bowl of iced water. Set aside.

In a separate saucepan, combine the malt vinegar and cornflour, stirring until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and then bring the mixture to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring.

Drain the green beans, then add them to the simmering mixture. Cover and bring the mixture back to the boil, then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Spoon the pickled beans into hot, sterilised jars, then cover with vinegar-proof lids and seal. Leave to cool, then label and store in a cool, dry cupboard. Store for at least 1 week before using to allow the flavours to develop. The unopened jars of pickled green beans should keep well in a cool, dry cupboard for up to 3 months. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 week.

These pickled green beans are delicious served hot or cold. If you want to serve them hot, simply empty a jar of the pickled beans into a small saucepan and heat gently for a few minutes or until piping hot before serving.