Dilly beans are green beans, suspended in a vinegar-based pickling liquid and seasoned simply with garlic, black peppercorns and either dill heads or seeds. Because beans are sturdy little suckers, they retain their crispness through the boiling water bath process. Even months after canning, dilly beans will be crunchy and intensely flavorful.
About the author: Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated pickler who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, also called Food in Jars, is now available.
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- Yield:makes 5 pints
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 week
- 3 pounds green beans
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons pickling salt
- 5 medium cloves garlic
- 5 teaspoons dill seed (not dill weed)
- 5 teaspoons red chili flakes
Prepare a boiling water bath and 5 regular mouth pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan over very low heat to simmer while you prepare the pickles.
Wash and trim beans so that they fit in jar. If you have particularly long beans, cut them in half. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. While the pickling liquid heats, pack your beans into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch for headspace. To each jar, add 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon dill seeds, and 1 teaspoon red chili flakes.
Slowly pour the hot brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch for headspace. After all the jars are full, use a wooden chopstick to work the air bubbles out of the jars. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let pickles sit for at least one week before eating.