Skinny, purple filet beans are fun to grow and make an unusual pickle.
Growing French Beans
I have been growing these skinny purple beans for a few years now. Like most backyard green beans, they are easy to grow and quite prolific, so you get a lot of food for little work.
But because they are smaller than everyday green beans, they are also more tender. Plus, I like the unusual purple color. I also like to grow purple, white, and red carrots and have grown red corn in the past. It’s like turning your garden into a box of crayons. This particular bean is called Velour, and I got the seed from Territorial Seed Company.
Making Pickled Green Beans
While I am not crazy over everyday pickled green beans, or dilly beans, I love these skinny little beans pickled. The down side? It does take longer to prepare the beans for pickling because so many more fit into the jar. But it is well worth the extra few minutes.
A few years ago I made three kinds of pickled skinny beans; regular dill beans, a basil-garlic bean, and this lemony-bay recipe. It is the best pickled green bean recipe I have ever tried. So much so, that this year I only made lemony-bay beans. Like most pickled vegetables, they are super-simple to pull together. This recipe is adapted from one found in a Better Homes and Gardens Canning Publication.
- 2½ lbs filet beans
- 12 bay leaves
- 6 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 3½ cups water
- 2¾ cups white vinegar
- ¾ cup lemon juice
- 1½ Tbsp pickling salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- Wash and trim fresh beans.
- Pack beans into clean, wide-mouth pint jars. This is easier to do if you tip the jar onto its side.
- Add 2 bay leaves and 1 tsp whole peppercorns to each jar.
- In a large pot, bring water, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve.
- Pour liquid over beans in jars, leaving ½ inch headspace.
- Remove bubbles from jar using a chop stick or other non-metal device.
- Cap, using the two-piece canning lids and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
What To Do With Pickled Skinny Beans
Now that you have made several jars of pickled beans, what are you going to do with them?
- Holiday pickle tray
- Appetizers when you have guests over
- Chop up and add to potato, egg, or tuna salad
- Add to a green salad
- Add to sub sandwiches instead of regular pickles
- Tuck a few into the kids’ – or your own! – lunchbox
Where Did The Purple Color Go?
Notice how purple beans lost their color? The beans, like purple asparagus, turn green when heated. But all those good antioxidants didn’t disappear. The pickle juice has turned a nice, light shade of pink – that’s where the purple color ended up!
More Canning Information
Pickling is a wonderful canning project, for new and experienced home canners alike.
Need help with the process? See our water bath tutorial.
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