Every year as fall begins, I unpack my pint jars for a few hours of pickling fun. While I love a sweet bread and butter pickle, I always try to incorporate a new recipe into my repertoire that will spice things up. This year while walking through my local farmer’s market, I struck up a conversation with a local vendor who was selling a special snack called Dilly Beans.
His little, labeled jars were selling for six dollars a pop. After getting my free spicy sample, I decided to purchase a package of his green beans to make my own Dilly Beans for a frugal year round treat.
I always try to choose canning recipes that do not require a pricey pressure canner. Instead I seek out ways to use my extra large stock pot as water bath canner. From start to finish, the Dilly Bean process takes about 45 minutes. Because I already own pint jars, lids and have plenty of white vinegar, kosher salt and garlic in my pantry; there were only a few additional ingredients that I had to pick up.
My favorite thing about canning is knowing that around the holidays I can make a fun gift basket out of my homemade pickles, salsas and sauces. The jars will still need to sit for a couple of weeks, in order to reach their full pickled potential. I don’t mind the wait, because even as they sit in my small kitchen the little jars glow in the light like colorful jewels.
Feel free to have fun with this recipe and give canning a chance. It’s a beautiful way to fill your home with the bounties of summer and know exactly how your food is being processed.
- 2½ cups Distilled White Vinegar
- 2½ cups Water – I use distilled water since I live in an area with hard water
- ¼ cup plus 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 3 lbs. fresh Green Beans (you can substitute other varieties like purple and yellow)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 10 – 12 whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 small bunch fresh Dill
- 3-6 dried Arbol or Red Thai Chilies
- 3 one pint Mason Jars with regular mouth lids and rings
- Begin by thoroughly cleaning your jars and rings. You can either boil them for a few minutes or place them in the dishwasher on a hot cycle. The jars will still need to still be warm when they are filled.
- Fill the largest stock pot that you have at least half way with water. The jars will need to be covered by the water. Bring the water to a boil.
- Wash the green beans. Trim the stringy end of each bean. Or have your little helper snap the ends off. It is nice to keep the smoother end on for aesthetic purposes, but it is not required. Blanch the beans in boiling water for just a minute to help maintain the green color. Then place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
- In a separate, medium saucepan bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil. Let the solution boil for 3 to 5 minutes allowing the salt to dissolve. Keep the solution over low to medium heat while prepping the jars.
- Place one clove of garlic, sprig of dill, 3-4 peppercorns and 1-2 chilies in each jar. Pack as many beans into each jar as possible. Try to leave a ½ inch gap between the beans and the top of the jar. If a bean is a bit too long, simply snip it with kitchen shears.
- Add the salt solution to the jars, filling to just below the rim (about ¼ of an inch.) Place the lid on and secure the ring to the point of being “finger-tip tight.” Wipe the jars and process them in the pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the jars and place on a towel away from any little hands. Allow to cool and sit for at least two weeks to reach their full flavor potential.
If you are an alternative pickle fan, you might also enjoy two of my favorite Alton Brown pickle recipes:
This post was written by WUC Contributor Nicole