Must-try green bean pickle recipe

“My late grandmother was a fine cook and I believe I got my love of being in the kitchen from her”, says decor stylist Jo Trappitt. “She was always making her own jams, chutneys and pickles – among many other delights – so after I was given our last, albeit large, crop of home-grown green beans I thought I’d follow her recipe for bean pickle.”

Green bean pickle


  • 4 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 570g pickling vinegar/white grape vinegar
  • 660g runner beans, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 26g plain flower
  • 20ml Hot English mustard powder
  • 20ml ground turmeric
  • 20ml celery salt
  • 20ml mustard seeds
  • 440g golden sugar



  1. Put the chopped onions in a large pan with 334ml of the vinegar. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, cook the sliced beans in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until just soft, then drain.
  2. Mix the flour, mustard powder, turmeric and celery salt together. Heat the mustard seeds in a small lidded pan until you hear them popping, remove from the heat and add them to the flour mixture. Gradually stir in the remaining 234ml vinegar, until smooth.
  3. When the onions are ready, tip in the spice mixture and stir continuously over a medium heat until thickened. Add the beans, stir them through the onion mix and cook uncovered for 10 minutes making sure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the golden sugar and cook, stirring frequently for 15 minutes until the mixture is glossy and thick.
  5. Spoon into sterilised jars and seal while hot. This will keep in a cool place for a year but the colour will fade over time. Once opened, store in the fridge.


(This recipe makes roughly 6 x 250ml jars)

Cooking with turmeric is a messy business – wear an apron to protect your clothing. It stains quickly and often permanently so wipe up any spills on light surfaces immediately.
Sterilising jars: These are essential to ensure your pickle stays in tip-top condition. Wash your jars in hot, soapy water, rinse thoroughly then leave in a low oven to dry completely. Keep them warm until you fill them.


This pickle is delicious on a cheese board or simply with crusty bread. It also makes a great gift.