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Berliner Beans (VRP 036)

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Berliner Beans is a refreshing and tangy dish that combines the crisp textures of green beans with a vibrant vinegar-based dressing. Inspired by German flavors, it is perfect as a side salad or a light, flavorful accompaniment to main courses.

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Berliner BeansBerliner Beans

Front of the recipe card for Berliner Beans.

Berliner Beans

Back of the recipe card for Berliner Beans.

Vintage Recipe Box 36

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Food History

Drawing on Berlin’s culinary traditions, this recipe incorporates elements like vinegar and caraway seeds, which are staples in German cooking. The dish reflects the German penchant for pickled and marinated vegetables, offering a balance of sweet, sour, and savory notes.

Recipe Discussion

This simple yet flavorful recipe starts by heating canned green beans and draining them, reserving the liquid for later use. The beans are then placed in a shallow dish. A mixture of vinegar, sugar, olive oil, caraway seeds, and celery salt is brought to a boil, melding the flavors together. This hot dressing is poured over the beans, and some reserved bean liquid is added to ensure the beans are well-marinated. After marinating overnight in the refrigerator, the beans absorb all the rich flavors. They can be served chilled on lettuce leaves for a refreshing salad or reheated as a warm vegetable.

Serving Suggestions

Berliner Beans can be served as a cold salad, making it a perfect addition to summer barbecues or a refreshing side dish for heavier meals. Alternatively, reheating the beans makes them delightful to dishes like roasted meats or grilled sausages. Pairing with deviled eggs enhances the dish, making it a more substantial meal.

Preparation Tips

  • Bean Preparation: Ensure the green beans are well-drained to prevent the salad from becoming too watery.
  • Flavor Enhancement: Letting the beans marinate overnight is crucial as it allows the flavors to develop fully.
  • Serving Options: If serving cold, chill the beans thoroughly. To preserve the marinade flavors, gently reheat the beans in a saucepan over low heat for a warm dish.

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Berliner Beans Recipe

Berliner Beans

Berliner Beans


  • 1 can (No. 303) cut green beans
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. caraway seeds
  • 1 t. celery salt


  1. Heat beans, drain & reserve liquid.
  2. Put beans in shallow dish.
  3. ____ remaining ingredients
  4. Bring to boiling point.
  5. Pour vinegar mixture over beans.
  6. Add enough of reserved liquid to cover them.
  7. Marinate overnight in refrig. stirring occasionally.
  8. Reheat beans in marinade.
  9. Chill & serve on lettuce leaves w/ deviled eggs as a salad or heat & serve as a veg.

Whether you’re looking for a zesty addition to your meal or a standalone light dish, Berliner Beans offers a delightful mix of flavors and textures. This dish is easy to prepare and brings a taste of German cuisine to your table in a refreshing and tangy way.

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