Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

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Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby Lokelani » August 9th, 2018, 8:49 am

I've been given a lot of runner beans & some courgettes. More than we can use fresh.

Last year I was given them later in the summer by the same lovely vegetable fairy & they were too large to eat fresh! Our apples were just ready on the tree so I altered Delia Smith's Spiced Pickled Runner Beans recipe into an bean, apple & courgette picalilli/chutney type thing & everyone loved it.

I'd really like to make it again ideally when our apples are ready. Can I blanch & freeze the beans & courgettes or will it make for a horrible mushy end result?
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby karadekoolaid » August 9th, 2018, 12:13 pm

I don´t see why not. Just blanch for one minute and freeze. I don´t think there will be much of a difference in the texture; they certainly won´t be mushy, but they will probably be softer.
My second thought, however, is "why not make the piccalilli now?". It lasts for ages once bottled.
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby Lokelani » August 9th, 2018, 12:44 pm

That's good, I didn't realise they'd need blanching for such a short time, it shouldn't make them too soggy hopefully.
Though I must admit I am slightly leaning towards the second option & just buying the other bits & making it now if it would be nicer. The heatwave here has momentarily dissipated enough to contemplate boiling things up in the kitchen.
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby Suelle » August 9th, 2018, 1:00 pm

I agree that the beans could possibly be frozen without too much detriment to the texture, particularly with a very quick blanching, but I'm not too sure about expecting the courgettes to survive freezing well. The more water there is in something, the greater the risk of damage from large ice crystals during freezing and thawing.
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby scullion » August 9th, 2018, 2:50 pm

what if you salt the cut up courgettes for a while then rinse, to reduce the water content, before putting in the freezer?
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby Seatallan » August 9th, 2018, 2:53 pm

Actually, I'm with Karadekoolaid- make the picallili now. I realise it's hot for chutney-making but I do think you need a bit of bite in the veg and my guess is you'd lose that if you freeze the veg.
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby suffolk » August 9th, 2018, 4:48 pm

Not quite what you're talking about, but I found this on here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06bc3pt

Kitty's pickled runner bean recipe

340g (12oz) runner beans
340g (12oz) granulated sugar
0.5 litre (1 pint) cider vinegar
1 tsp juniper berries
Fresh ginger
Mint sprigs

Top, tail, de-string and cut the runner beans to a desired length.
Pour cider vinegar into a pan and warm through gently.
Keeping the pan on simmer add the sugar, stirring until fully dissolved.
Add prepared runner beans and juniper berries to the sugar vinegar and simmer until just tender, approximately 8 min.
Drain the beans and pack them into pre-sterilised pickling jars.
Pour the sugar vinegar over the beans covering their tops.
Peel and lightly bruise the ginger by gently bashing it with a rolling pin. Cut into pieces.
Add a section of ginger and some fresh mint to each jar.
Seal, label and leave for 2 weeks before opening.
Refrigerate after opening. They should last for at least one month in the fridge.
Serve with cold meats, cheese or leftovers.


Think I'm going to try it ... has anyone else ever made it or anything like it?
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby Busybee » August 9th, 2018, 6:19 pm

Yes, in our house it’s known as green bean chutney. A very similar recipe which originated in a local WI group, very good. Doesn’t last, but that’s because we eat it all! :lol:

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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby Lokelani » September 4th, 2018, 5:45 pm

I did make it straight away in the end & it turned out really well. I pretty much use this recipe:


https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/typ ... nner-beans

but substitute some of the beans for courgette & a little apple. Everyone seems to love it. I decided soggy veg were too high a risk. :lol:
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Re: Can I freeze runner beans for picallili/chutney?

Postby Badger's mate » September 5th, 2018, 8:54 am

An alternative approach is to do what Mrs Beeton suggested, which is to pickle each crop as it becomes available and then mix and cook them together with the spices to make the final piccalilli at the end of the season. However, her recipe is way too salty and acidic for modern tastes, but keeping your beans and courgettes in sweetened spiced vinegar might be an option if you get the opportunity next year. Maybe do as you have, but also keep some of them that way so you get to use your apples in a batch.

My collys are just starting to come on and I've still got onions, green beans, courgette, cucumber to use so a piccalilli seems sensible, but we have still got some from earlier years
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