pickled romano beans with rosemary and lemon
Our romano beans appeared to be caught in some kind of vegetable purgatory from May through September—beautiful, bushy green leaves, prolific flowers, no beans. Nary a one for months and months.
And then suddenly the beanpoles were bristling with flat green pods. We’ll freeze and dry them right and left. We’re already pickling them.
Pickled romano beans with herbs and citrus are like a suaver, velvet-ier dilly bean. They have the same crisp snap, but their larger interior bean adds an interesting softer element. Their mellow, round grassiness needs only a little gilding to become some of our favorite pickles; they’re perfect with a sandwich, in a Bloody Mary, as a random middle-of-the-night-standing-in-front-of-the-fridge snack.
I like these simple, with rosemary and lemon. Coriander, cumin, and red pepper is good, too. Fennel and garlic. Whatever you like!
Wash and trim half a pound of flat, tender romano beans for each pint jar. Cut them if necessary to make them fit vertically without a lot of bending. Prepare a two-inch strip of lemon zest and a two-inch sprig of rosemary for each jar, too. I usually add a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes as well.
Prepare your brine: bring 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup with 5% white vinegar for each jar to a boil. Dissolve two teaspoons each of sugar and canning salt. Keep hot.
Sterilize your jars and heat your lids and rings; bring your canning pot to a boil.
Pack the hot jars quickly and densely with spices and beans; fill with brine to within 1/4” of the rim. Wipe the rims and sides; seat lids and rings. Process the jars for 10 minutes, counting from when the water comes back to a boil.