Pickled Green Beans
3/4 lb green or wax beans
1 small fresh or dried chile pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled
3-4 sprigs fresh Mediterranean herbs (thyme, oregano, bay and rosemary work especially well here)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp kosher or other non-iodized salt
1 tsp honey
Trim the beans to no more than 4 inches long.
Turn a clean (you don't need to sterilize for this recipe) pint-sized canning jar on its side. Start loading in the beans. Add the garlic, pepper and herbs as you go.
Bring the vinegar, water, salt and honey to a boil in a small pot. Pour over the beans. You want the beans and herbs to be completely immersed in the brine, but also to leave at least 1/2-inch head space between the top of the food and the rim of the jar.
Cover with just enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the surface of the liquid over the beans, still leaving at least 1/2-inch head space. One tbs usually does it for a pint jar.
Screw on the 2-piece canning lid. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Wait 2 weeks for the flavors to develop before serving.
This same recipe and method works well for carrots and cauliflower, too.