July 8, 2013

Dilly Beans [Pickled Green Beans]

With all the heat & humidity we've been having, our garden is coming along. 
One thing we had lots of last year were green beans.  (Lots and lots and lots.) 

So one thing we did to preserve our harvest was make Dilly Beans!


When I heard the term "dilly beans" for the first time a couple of years ago, this is what I thought of:
Bite sized dilly bar treats, the size of jelly beans.  (I understand DQ doesn't exist in some parts.. but I think most of us are familiar with the dilly bar, right?)
I was wrong.   They are pickled green beans. 

My other half LOVES pickles.  He could easily eat a quart of them a day. 
My efforts years ago in making dill pickles wasn't a big success.  I was out in the garden picking cucumbers every morning, just right for baby dills.  I canned all that hot July.  And... well, the outcome just wasn't a hit.  Mitch is choosy about his pickles, this is one of the first things I learned when we got married.  I've never made homemade pickles again. 
But Dilly Beans -  Big thumbs up!  Perfect crunchiness!  A little bite of flavor!  
He declares it's the best way to eat a green bean!  

2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1/4 cup salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 bunch fresh dill 
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Trim green beans to 1/4 inch shorter than your jars.Sterilize 6 (half pint) jars with rings and lids.
  2. In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water and salt. Add garlic and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. In each jar, place 1 sprig of dill and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pack green beans into the jars so they are standing on their ends.
  3. Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. 
    Discard garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings.
    Place in a hot water bath so jars are covered by 1 inch of water.
    Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process.
    Cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid.
    Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly.
    Let pickles ferment for 2-3 weeks before eating.
    (I think Mitch may have started eating ours right away.)
We're currently eating fresh lettuce from the garden and I spent a couple of hours playing twister in the strawberry patch again today, picking five more big bowls full of strawberries.  Our rhubarb is coming back strong, I might get a second harvest out of it while the stalks are firm.  We've got our first good yield of cherries coming in on our cherry tree!  We're scheming up plans on how to beat the birds to them when they're ready. 
What's growing in your neck of the woods?


  1. don't know if i'd like pickled green beans, but i love 'em fresh and raw!

  2. We ate all of our green beans last year fresh and raw, and they were perfect in salads and just for eating right out of the garden. It's hot enough in our kitchen that nobody wants to cook anything anyway. I just put up an post with pictures of some stuff from my garden. I am having so much more fun this year, since I didn't overdo it like I did last year! :-)

  3. You make these look so beautiful! Love your photos!

  4. A wonderful series of photos ....And I love your kitchen.

  5. Never heard of them before. My mother pickled cucumbers in brine, the old fashioned way. In a 2 or more gallon stoneware jar or wooden barrel, layer cucumbers with dill stems, placing blackcurrant leaves between layers. pour over brine to cover cucumbers. plate a plate on top and weigh down with a stone or whatever, so cucumbers remain under brine level. Store in a cool, dark place like a cellar for a couple of at least 6 weeks. As kids we used to sneak into the cellar and lift one or two. We were only checking if they were ready yet . . .

  6. I've heard of dilly beans, but never had them before! I'm not a big fan of dill, but I'd like to try them sometime just to see if I like them. Seems like a great way to preserve your harvest.

    PS - I am in love with your kitchen!

  7. These sound really good to me -- I made dill pickles for the first time a few years ago and they turned out really good. Luck I believe. :)

  8. Your garden sounds like a fun full time job! Enjoy the fruits and veggies of your labor. Looks like you have good help.

  9. Those beans are beautiful. Anything pickled is good!

  10. I'm going to have a go at these tomorrow. Have you ever done these with yellow beans? I have a bunch of them to do something with.

    1. We just made same recipe with yellow..worked great!

  11. I make dilly beans every year, I like a little sugar in my brine for a sweet sour effect, the local taverns always asking for my beans as customers like them in their Bloody Marys :)