Ask someone if they want chocolate cake, chances are they’ll say: “Ya-huh!”
Ask someone if they want a pickled wax bean, their reaction may not be so kind. I learned this the hard way after making a jar of pickled yellow wax beans from the Park Slope farmer’s market a few weeks ago. The recipe comes from Chez Panisse Vegetables, a book that proves to be an excellent resource in summer when vegetables are plentiful at farmer’s markets and you don’t know what to do with them. Case in point? Yellow wax beans. It was from this book that I got the idea to pickle them.
And you know what? Even though most guests balked at the opportunity to try one, that was better for me because I am now a pickled yellow wax bean convert. They are terrific. Why are they so terrific? They’re pickled in cider vinegar, which makes them punchy, fruity, and intense and the other aromatics–garlic, a red chile–only heighten the experience. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to make. You just stick the beans in a jar (that you’ve cleaned and boiled) and pour over boiling cider vinegar. That’s it. See? Isn’t that easy? Chocolate cake isn’t so easy.
And chocolate cake isn’t good for you. And these are–so make them and then keep them all to yourself. Or offer them to others, but don’t be insulted when they say “no.”
Pickled Yellow Wax Beans
From Chez Panisse Vegetables
1/2 pound yelow wax beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1 small hot chili
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cups white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 cup dry white wine [I didn’t have white wine, so I just used more cider vinegar and that was fine!]
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Top and tail the beans and put them in a nonreactive container (I used a jar that I cleaned and then boiled.) Peel the garlic cloves and cut them in half. Add the garlic to the beans along with the coriander seed, chili, peppercorns and bay leaf.
Put the vinegar, white wine, water, salt, and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour over the beans. Cool completely at room temperature, cover, and refirgerate. The beans will be ready to eat in 48 hours but are even better after a week.