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Recipe for Dilly Beans

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

This is one of our favorite things to do with tender green snap beans! Omit the peppercorns and/or the chile pepper if you prefer not to have that little added kick.

This recipe was adapted from the "Zydeco Green Beans" recipe in Linda Ziedrich's fabulous book, _The Joy of Pickling_, which I highly recommend. She'll have you pickling things that would never have occurred to you, plus she's got all the classics in there.


Critter's Dilly Beans

6 garlic cloves, quartered
30 to 40 black peppercorns
3 pounds tender, crisp snap green beans
6 to 8 small, fresh chile peppers
6 to 8 dill heads, plus additional dill foliage
3 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons pickling salt

Sterilize 6 pint mason jars or 8 12 oz. jelly jars. I always sterilize an extra jar, in case I need it. Put 1 sliced garlic clove and 5 black peppercorns into the bottom of each jar. Snap the stem end off the beans (it's OK to leave the tails), and trim them if necessary so they will fit into the jar. I like to use the taller 12 oz. jars if I have longer beans. Pack the beans vertically into the jar, adding the chile peppers and dill as you pack. I find the best way to get a lot of beans into the jar is to gather them up into a large bundle in one hand, then push the bundle of beans down into the jar. The tops of the beans must be 1/2 inch below the rim of the jar.

In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, and salt to make your pickling brine. Bring the brine to a boil. Pour the hot brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the tops of the jars. Should you need more brine for the amount of beans you are pickling, simply make up additional brine, being certain to keep the proportions the same. Close the jars with hot two-piece caps.

The beans may be processed in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, but for crunchier beans, try this lower temperature method. Pasteurize the jars for 30 minutes in water heated to no less than 180 and no more than 185 degrees F. For the sake of both safety and texture, it is very important to monitor the temperature closely during the process. After the jars cool, check to be sure the lids have sealed. Any jars that do not seal properly can be reprocessed (although they will not be as crunchy) or stored in the refrigerator.

Store in a cool, dark place. Wait at least 1 month before eating the beans.

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

They never last a month around here! :)

Dry Ridge, KY(Zone 6a)

I LOVE these things (minus the peppers). I had them for the first time last year and am planning to can LOTS more this year.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Yes, if you manage to keep them more than a few months, the peppers start making things pretty darn zippy!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

*bump* in case anybody is harvesting more green beans than they care to eat fresh. These are really good. I recently opened a jar from 2 years ago (buried at the back of the pantry, or it would never have lasted so long) to discover that the beans were still crisp -- that low temperature method really makes a difference!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

oh Critter
I have a basket full of beans !!!!!!!! i guess a whole bushel basket . Your dillys sound yummy. i m going to be sooooooo busy cutting of the ends of the beans .
i will let you knwo how it goes :)

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Good luck! Have fun with the recipe.... basic dillys are great, but you could also add a bit of horseradish root, or a hot pepper, or a bay leaf to the jar.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

i finally found pickling salt LOL and guess where i found it LOL in the salt isle. I keeped looking in the canning isle LOL " where are my brain cells when i need them!!"
Today is a stormy day lots of thunder and lightning , so it is a good day for pickling. I only wish i got some cucs to go with it.:(
I have dill growing out of my ears in my garden , i finally now what to do with it, glad i grabbed it before the storm.
Horseradish does souhd good crittter !!! but it is time to go cut and sort out the beans fun fun.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Have fun, Sue... and be sure to check out the tip I wrote on packing them into a 12 oz canning jar by gathering a big handful... I figure the more green beans I can get into the jar, the better, although sometimes think it would be easier if I chopped them into 1 inch pieces and pickled them that way (never tried it, though). :-)

And if you want to save some extra dill for dilly cukes later on (just in case), just stuff a bunch into a jar and cover with vinegar. If you want the dill pieces for the jars later too, store it in the fridge, otherwise you can strain out the dill after a couple of weeks and store the flavored vinegar in a cool place.

Waterville, KS

Hi Critter

Thanks for posting this recipe. I have just made my first batch of Dilly Beans and they are cooling on the kitchen counter as I write. They sound yummy and will let you know how they turn out. Many thanks again !!!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm sure they will be delicious! Doesn't that popping sound of lids sealing on cooling jars give you such a good feeling?


Waterville, KS

Hi Critter
Yes, it sure does. I have made 2 jars of Pickled Jalapenos and they just popped also. Chili sauce is still simmering but close to being jarred....then let the pops begin !! pop pop pop pop pop pop pop shooooom pop

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

Pops?? ummmmmmmmmmmm, huh ,they pop? "oh man" , what did i miss. what is popping? I thought a good seal and vacum the lid was supposed to be firm.
Oh i m such a newbie" LOL

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

When the lid deforms downward to form the seal as the jar cools, it often does so quickly, resulting in a "POP!" noise. The lid should *not* pop up and down when you press on it after the jar has cooled... if it does, the seal is no good... like you said, on a good seal the lid is supposed to be firm.

There should only be one solitary "pop!" per jar, and it happens while the jar cools.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I keep posting the link to this recipe, so I think it's time to give it a bump! :-)

Warren, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks Critter.

Our pole beans are just starting their long climb to the heavens on our trellis (Zone 5a, can't really plant them before Memorial Day) but when they reach the summit in a few more weeks they are headed for a chili-packed pickle brine using your recipe as the basis.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Just dropping a chile pepper or two into the bottom of each jar will give you a very zippy batch of pickled beans!

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

can it be a fresh or a dried pepper ?
just wondering.
I don't think i will be doing beans this yr , but we will be home in Aug to do matos and other goodies.
and apples of course in fall

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I've used fresh peppers because I had them, but there's no reason why a dried chile wouldn't work just fine... I've used dried, cracked ginger in pickles rather than fresh, and that's worked fine.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Jill do you think this method would be good for sweet bannana wax peppers ? mine are not as crisp as I would like them to be. Some say the addition of a grape leaf or a cherry leaf will help but I haven't tried that. Ernie

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm always a little hesitant to use a packing/preserving method other than the one called for in a recipe, but you could compare the brine proportions in your recipe to the brine used in the dilly beans recipe and see if you think it's close enough -- if your recipe has less salt or less vinegar, then I'd stick with the boiling water bath method for sure.

In the introductory section of her book, Linda Ziedrich says that her recipes indicate when the low-temperature pasteurization method can be used... and since she didn't indicate it for her pickled peppers, I have been doing peppers the traditional way in a BWB. I looked through some of her recipes that mention it and some that don't, and I am not sure I can see any clear distinctions between the recipes... so maybe she just mentions the low temp method for recipes where she has tried it?

Here's the recipe that I've been using for sweet pickled peppers, I think they turn out reasonably crunchy, especially if you eat them within 4 to 6 months of putting them up. I do put cherry leaves in my cucumber pickles -- I wash them in water with just a drop of liquid soap, rinse them well, and put 4-6 leaves in the bottom of each pint or quart jar.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

bumping up this recipe .....


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Thanks, Judy! I've just been eyeing a basket of green beans, trying to decide if I had enough for dilly beans... I think we will make a big pot of bean and potato soup with dumplings instead!

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Jill when you sent me the recipe for bean and potatoe soup you never said anything about dumplings. Guess its off to the store to get those pre made biscuitts in the tube to use for dumplings LOL

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Oh, no! How could I have missed that! My deepest apologies...

Dumplings are easy... skip the biscuits! Beat an egg in a bowl (two eggs if it's a big pot of soup). Throw in a handful of grated parmesan cheese (optional, but tasty) and a dash of pepper. Now add a couple handfuls of flour and stir in. It's an inexact recipe... but you want something about the consistency of biscuit dough, a little less stiff than fresh play doh. Don't beat it too much or the dumplings will get tough. When your beans are nearly tender and your soup is simmering, drop the dumplings (use two teaspoons: one to scoop the dumpling dough, the other to push it off into the soup). When they float to the top (maybe 2 minutes), they're done.

Here's the thread I posted on the recipe forum -- dumplings and all! This is so easy and quick to make, and it just highlights the wonderful flavor of fresh green beans! It's also a good way to use green beans that have become larger or slightly tough (not white inside or woody, just a little less tender than you'd like). Last year my green beans were really chewed up by bugs, and I just broke the good pieces off until I had a big pile for soup.

Danbury, CT(Zone 6a)

Critter-now you've got me hungry! Just harvested fingerling potatoes. Where's the recipe for the soup???


Okay, I'm impatient. I found it.

This message was edited Aug 30, 2007 12:12 PM

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

whoops, sorry, don't know what happened to the link! thanks for posting it.

With "real" potatoes, cook until they fall apart before adding the beans....

Danbury, CT(Zone 6a)

Okay, got it! Thanks!

Henderson, NV(Zone 9a)

Just made some of these they are delicious. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

St. Helens, OR(Zone 8b)

I agree on "Joy of Pickling." It's a wonderful book. To answer the earlier question about dried peppers, they're actually a safer option than fresh because the water has been removed and if they reconstitute it's with brine. Dried peppers can easily be used in lieu of fresh ones.


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