People either love them or have never heard of them.
People raised with a vegetable garden are most familiar with a dilly bean. When you grow beans, the dilly bean is ammunition against plants that produce green beans every time you turn your back. Where every day’s harvest is a big heap of beans.
And then put the crispy, vinegary, spicy delights in a Bloody Mary, alongside your pulled pork barbeque, or eat them right out of the jar. They are a great balancing element on a cheese and charcuterie plate, or wherever you might serve a dill pickle.
This was my first canning project ever. I can still remember it – standing up on a kitchen stool, next to my great grandmother Agatha, stringing beans over the sink, filling jars, and pouring the brine.
They are easy enough to make one jar at a time, or grab a few pounds of bright new green beans at the market this weekend and put up a dozen jars or so. As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many.
vaguely adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving
makes 4 pints
2 lbs. green beans
1/4 c pickling salt
1-1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1-1/4 c white vinegar
2-1/2 c water
4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and trimmed
4 T dill seed
Sterilize your jars. Wide mouth pint jars are best. If the beans are very long and elegant, the 12 oz jelly jars are gorgeous.
Trim the green beans. I leave the tails. Make sure they fit in the jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.
Bring salt, vinegars and water to a boil.
Divide the red pepper, garlic and dill seed between the jars.
Pour the hot brine over the beans.
Run a chopstick or other airbubble removing device around the jars.
Place lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Allow the beans to pickle for about a week before opening.
I’ll be demonstrating pickling and canning – dilly beans and half-sour (lacto fermented) pickles July 16th, 9am, at Strosnider’s Hardware in Bethesda.