Moroccan Spiced Green Bean Pickles
Makes 1 quart.
Spicy, crunchy green bean pickles are the side you’ll crave with a sandwich, and they make a lively addition to summer salads or a sassy garnish for a dirty martini. We use Moroccan Pickling Spice with green beans for its big flavor and bit of chile heat. It’s also great for pickling carrots, cauliflower, or turnips and for making fruit chutneys or cocktail syrups.
Using a wide mouth funnel when adding the brine to the jar makes the process easier and less messy. If you’d prefer slightly more tender pickled beans, you can blanch the beans for about 45 seconds in a pan of boiling water before transferring them to an ice bath (to stop the cooking). Drain and pat them dry before loading them into the jar for pickling.
Wash a quart jar with a tight sealing lid with hot soapy water. Rinse and dry the jar and set aside.
Fill the jar with the beans until the beans are packed tightly enough that they stay standing straight when you set the jar upright. (This is easier to accomplish by laying the jar on its side while filling it with beans.)
Make the pickling brine Put the vinegar, Moroccan Pickling Spice, garlic, salt, and sugar (if using) into a small sauce pan and add 1¼ cups water. Set the pan over medium-high heat, bring the brine to a boil, stir, then simmer for another minute or two.
Make the pickles Pour the hot brine and spices into the pickle jar over the beans. Put the lid on the jar, tighten it, and let the pickles cool to room temperature.
The pickles are ready to eat once cooled, but their flavor benefits from a few hours in the fridge (an overnight rest is ideal). Store in the fridge for up to three weeks (they will be edible for longer but the texture won’t be quite as nice).