August 11th, 2009


Sweet & Sour Pickled Green Beans

Summer is the season of plenty. Surely there must be a few keen gardeners that will have a glut of something whether it’s beans, raspberries, plums or even courgettes. I have a few friends, work colleagues and family members that find gardening therapeutic and the buzz of planting, growing, nurturing and harvesting is a joyful past time. The topic of conversation at the moment is “I have too much of … (this could be anything)… what can I do?”.

I love this kind of question as I find the buzz in doing something lovely with the glut and solving a problem,  even more exciting.

This recipe is one answer for a glut of green beans.

Granny’s recipe book has surfaced again and after a  giggle, mum and I decided on one of the four pickled green bean recipes. As I have mentioned in the past my grandmothers famous recipe book features variations of the same recipe  and sometimes they are written in some funny way. This recipe stood out as it contains golden syrup, which gives the extra yumminess to the sweet aspect of this dish.

Cooking these sweet & sour pickled green beans is not difficult and is actually very quick, however the preparation is time consuming. Mum and I found that a glass of wine, a couple of chairs and two chopping boards does the trick and of course nattering is essential.

These sweet and sour pickled green beans are tasty served hot or cold and brighten up a picnic hamper beautifully. Serve it as a salad at a barbecue or as a accompaniment to a deliciously home made game terrine and toasted sour dough bread.

I like a large spoonful of these pickled beans on a slice of freshly baked farmhouse loaf with thick slices of Montgomery cheddar and a cup of tea, mmm lunch fit for a queen!


  • 600g green beans, sliced
  • 225ml malt vinegar
  • 3tsp curry powder (I like Sharwoods mild)
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 225g light brown sugar
  • 225g white onions, diced
  • 1tsp salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 15g corn flour
  • 1tsp Coleman’s English Mustard Powder
  • 10g golden syrup
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed

Sterilize 4 x 250g glass jars

Top and tail the beans and slice the beans on a angle. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the beans in rapid boiling water for 1 minute, refresh in icy cold water.

In a separate medium saucepan mix the malt vinegar and corn flour till smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the refreshed blanched beans; bring the mixture back to the boil for 1 minute.

Transfer the pickled beans to the sterilised jars.

Keep for up to 2 months in the fridge.

Delicious served hot or cold.

Makes 4 250g jars

Food Fanatics Tips

After I made this recipe my head started spinning and I thought how delicious this would have been if you had added a 1/3 of cooked haricot beans and a 1/3 of cooked butter beans to this recipe, it gives three bean salad a completely new meaning!

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8 Comments to “Sweet & Sour Pickled Green Beans”

  1. nicola court says:

    also! ….is that – once opened will keep for 2 months – or from bottling it will only keep 2 months?

  2. Madalene says:

    Nicola, once opened eat with in one week however once bottled it should keep for 2 even 3 months.

    Happy Cooking

  3. nicola court says:

    is there any alternative to golden syrup? i have no will power with that stuff and am worried if i buy it the rest of the tin will be consumed by me with the help of a big spoon!

  4. Madalene says:

    Dear Nicola,

    Honey will be great, alternatively just use sugar.

    Happy Cooking

  5. Barry says:

    love the three bean salad idea.. at present am doing a concept for the salad tables with different condiments… gues what.. this one.. pickled carrots and the beetroot pickle are on the list…

  6. Tania says:

    We have a HUGE glut of everything at the moment and have been surfing the internet for different ideas. Having found your website you have saved me hours because it’s all here in one place and all of your recipes look so yummy and the good thing is that unlike a lot of american recipes we tend to have a lot of the same ingredients as the british do. Thanks for this great site it’s a pleasure to read through, in fact so much so that I have just wasted 2 hours on here.

  7. Tall Blonde says:

    Made this yesterday using the last of my climbing Cosse Violette french beans. If I made it again I’d use cider or white wine vinegar rather than malt and Sumac instead of the curry spices, and maybe a preserved lemon to give it a summery vibe. Thanks for the inspiration though!

  8. I’ve got two more huge jars of pickled red cabbage from my summer glut still left. Can’t wait for the bean glut so I can try this out!

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