On Slightly More Successful Pickled Beans
As part of my ongoing obsession of all things in vinegar, I have revisited bean salad. I finally ate through the last batch which featured two major flaws: Flaw #1: the olive oil in the dressing coagulated when cold (duh) and left a thick layer on top of all the nice beans. (Now that I think about it, I could probably have left them on the countertop un-refrigerated. Hmm. There may well be a Pickled Beans, Volume III coming up.) Flaw #2 was using canned, french-cut green beans. Little better than the mush you'd find at the bottom of a pond, even soaking in vinegar could offer no salvation. I'm not sure these are good for anything. After fishing out all the red and white kidney beans I happily threw the green mush down the drain.
This time, I thought I'd start simply by eliminating the two flaws from last time.
1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part cup white sugar
dash of salt
pepper to taste
good pinch of your favorite herbs (I used a dash of Parisien Bonnes Herbes) (optional)
For this recipe, I used a 1/3 cup of vinegar and a 1/3 cup white sugar to one can of red kidney beans and one can of chickpeas. Which is basically all the beans I had left in the pantry. That's the wonderful thing about all these old, passe recipes. They're intended to use up whatever you have and be a delicious gift for your family. Not 17 ingredients that you may never use again for one complicated but flashy recipe.
Since there is no oil in this particular batch, you have to whisk, whisk, whisk. Just think of all the good you're doing for your bingo wings!
Next, add the beans. And...add another good pinch of herbs if you're so moved (or are suspicious that you didn't have enough to begin with).
Mix gently, then bottle.
Now, I would like to point out the fact that the dressing only comes half-way up the jar. This is not a tremendous problem, but if you would like the first bite off the top of the jar to be as vinegar-y as the bites at the bottom, you have one of two options.
Option 1: make more dressing to fill the jar like anything properly pickled would be.
Option 2 (The Kristina Way): Improvise.