My mother canned so much food for our family. As a little girl I remember the glass jars of dilled yellow-wax beans, as we always called them, lining the shelf of our basement fruit cellar. The beans were crispy and delicious, and always a treat. One time when about 8-years old my neighborhood friend and I ‘snuck’ a jar of these beans and took them to our fort to indulge in a secret treat. I got caught, only because I left an open space on the neatly organized shelf. Lesson learned but it never lessened my taste for dilled beans! I still can and preserve dilled beans from time to time but I like this cold salad just as well. It is easier than canning and can be made anytime since you can always find fresh beans in the produce aisle. The recipe calls for a cup of sugar. I know it sounds like a lot but it really isn’t because you drain the beans prior to serving, or serve with a slotted spoon. OK, if you are like our son you would actually drink the leftover dressing, as he loves sweet-sour. So the rest of us don’t need to think about all the sugar. You can easily use an equal amount of sugar substitute as well. Now that my garden is brimming with beans I have a dish of this salad in my refrigerator. I don’t think it will last too long!
1/3 cup sliced onions
½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water
1¼ cup white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large dill top (You can substitute ¾ teaspoon
dried dill weed. Fresh dill is the best and available
at your grocery store or farmers market.)
Boil a large pot of water. Drop the cleaned, whole beans in the boiling water for 4 minutes. You want the beans to be crispy and just a tad cooked on the outside to help absorb the dressing. Turn the heat off but save the hot water. Remove the beans from the hot water and cool in cold water to stop the cooking. Allow the beans to drain once cooled. Place the sliced onions in the hot water and allow to rest in the water for 2 minutes. Remove the onions to a paper towel to drain. Cut the beans into 3-inch pieces. Add the beans, onions, and salt and pepper to a bowl. Roughly chop the fresh dill and stir into beans. In a microwave heat the water and vinegar in a large measuring cup to boiling. Remove the measuring cup and carefully stir in the sugar. Keep stirring for just a few minutes until the water and vinegar turns clear again. Pour over beans while the liquid is still warm. Stir the mixture and cover. Allow to rest at room temperature 15 minutes. Chill prior to serving. Serve with slotted spoon or drain prior to serving.