Salt-preserved Green Beans

I always struggle with what to do with too many green beans. I can (bottle) some, but none of us really like the taste of canned beans, and their mushy texture leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t freeze any, because freezer space is at a premium, and I prefer to fill it with sweet corn and peas instead.

So this past summer, I preserved some green beans in salt. The recipe I used claimed that the flavour and texture of salt-preserved beans is far superior to canned or frozen.

I pulled out the crock of salted beans the other day to test them out.

At first glance, they didn’t win any beauty contests, especially the yellow wax beans, which came out of the salt a sort of dead-flesh colour.

I rinsed them and soaked them for two hours, as directed, and then tossed them into a green bean and potato charcharis.

Cooked into a flavourful Indian dish, the beans most definitely had better flavour and texture than canned beans. Almost as good as fresh, even.

Unfortunately, they were so excessively salty, they made the dish almost inedible. Even my salty-olive-loving family couldn’t choke them down. Most of the dish ended up on the compost pile, and I expect an epidemic of high blood pressure in the local sparrow and mouse population who dine at chez-compost.

There are still some beans left. I’ll try using them again—small quantities in otherwise unsalted stews or soups might work well (sort of like a salty ham hock in bean soup). Maybe.

But I’m thinking I’ll just give away the extra green beans next year.

2 thoughts on “Salt-preserved Green Beans

  1. There’s got to be a way to make it work. I wonder if you used less salt or rinsed them before jarring them if that would help? I love home grown green beans. There just has to be a better way.

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  2. It would be nice if there were a better way. Salt preserving is, by nature, salty. That’s how it prevents mould and bacteria from growing (and why you don’t need to jar them or freeze them, or even refrigerate them). Aside from a good long slow boiling, I expect there’s no way to pull all that salt out. But I think used in small quantities–more like a seasoning than a vegetable–they might be fine.

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