I have two HUGE jars of these spicy Cajun pickled green beans and carrots, and I could not be more excited about it!
Ever since learning to pickle my own jalapenos and sweet dill cucumbers, I’ve had pickling on the brain. Every time I have a bunch of extra veggies, I think… hmm, can I pickle this? And since I make refrigerator pickles instead of properly preserving them by canning (which is still on my list of things to learn how to do), it is very easy and hassle-free, but will still last a very long time in the fridge.
Yum… perfect for snacking, for sandwiches, and my favorite… in a bloody mary!
The first time I tried one of these bad boys was at Elizabeth’s in the bywater in New Orleans… only two blocks from where I lived. Best. Brunch. Ever. I am not kidding. If you ever find yourself in New Orleans, go here. Get the praline bacon (yes, I did just say praline bacon), and order a bloody mary- they are delicious, served at any time of day, and come with the best spicy pickled green bean you will ever have.
But, these are a pretty awesome substitute since I live 1,542 miles away from Elizabeth’s (yes, I did just google map that).
I don’t know if you know this, but we have an expert cocktail maker living in the house. Zach has perfected the old fashioned and Manhattan (both of which helped get us through the long, cold winter), makes a mean margarita for Mexican Mondays, and has now mastered an awesome bloody mary.* Between my cooking and his cocktails, we may have to start opening up our kitchen for business!
Back to the pickles. If you are missing one of the ingredients in the recipe, it’s OK- the most important things are the brine (vinegar, sugar, salt, and water), the cayenne pepper (for the spicy factor), and of course, the green beans. You don’t have to add carrots, but I did since I liked the pretty color combination and since I had them in my fridge already. This couldn’t be easier- simply put green beans and carrots in a jar, add spices, and pour hot brine over them. Done!
*A word of caution: if you consume a bloody mary during the day you will likely need a nap afterward. Especially if you are me.
*Another word of caution: liquor contains a lot of sugar. Add this to the more obvious reasons why you should consume it in moderation. Many people who follow a strictly “real food” diet cut it all together- I’m more of an all things in moderation kind of girl, and I don’t believe in cutting anything completely out of my diet. I aim for 90-95% real, clean, unprocessed food so I can still enjoy things like cocktails, Reeses PB cups, and white pasta/bread every once in a while. For what is life without Reeses?! I do not want to find out.
Recipe below is for one, quart-sized mason jar. I doubled it since I had a whole pound of green beans to make two jars. Enjoy!
Spicy Cajun Pickled Green Beans and Carrots
- 1/2 lb. green beans trimmed
- 2 carrots sliced into "green bean" size
- 1 clove garlic sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Fit as many green beans and carrots as you can into a jar, vertically.
- Add the garlic and bay leaf to the jar, using a chopstick or something similar to slide them down the sides of the jar.
- Add oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, celery seed, and peppercorns directly to the jar.
- Bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan to make a brine, stirring to make sure sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Pour brine over vegetables in jar, making sure to cover all the vegetables and fill to the top.
- Allow jar to cool, and keep in refrigerator for 6 months. These will taste best if you allow them to sit in the fridge at least overnight, and the flavor will intensify as time goes on.