Spicy Garlic & Dill Pickled Beans Recipe
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These pickled beans are the perfect way to
preserve summer’s bounty of green beans to enjoy all year long. Great in a Bloody Mary, better in a Caesar!
* * *
Pickled beans are one of my favourite things to eat out of a Mason jar. For starters, I’m a self-proclaimed caesar addict – eh fellow Canadians?? You know what I’m talking about;) – and I LOVE enjoying a pickled bean or five as a garnish in my drink.
But honestly, pickled beans are good enough to eat all on their own, straight out of the jar. And as I always say, that’s the measure of a good canning recipe:)
I actually hadn’t even planned on making pickled beans this summer. We’re just not growing enough of our own to bother preserving them, and I wasn’t planning on buying them this year since I’ve already got lots to preserve and not a lot of time to do it in! But I was offered an opportunity I couldn’t pass up…
Last week I wrote about 3 ways to get free organic food (without growing it yourself), and I mentioned that I recently started volunteering with a local gleaners group called the Lush Valley Food Action Society. The group organizes volunteers to go pick excess fruit and vegetables from private properties and farms who need help harvesting everything or who don’t want the food for themselves. The farmer or landowner keeps a portion and the volunteers get to take a portion home too. Plus, whenever possible, some of it goes to support local food banks and food security initiatives too. It’s pretty cool and you should read more about it here. But I digress…
Anyway, I checked my email last weekend and had an email from Lush Valley saying there was a “green bean glean” happening at a local farm on Sunday morning. Since I’d just come home with about 30 pounds of apples and a whole bunch of cucumbers, I wasn’t going to bother with the pick at first. But the thought of jars and jars of pickled green beans lining my pantry shelves, and the offer of them being free in exchange for helping to harvest them was too tempting. So I packed up my daughter and we headed to a farm about 20 minutes from where we lived.
There we spent the morning picking bush beans for the farmer who not only gifted the volunteers with not just some, but ALL of the green beans we helped pick, he also sent us each of us home with a bag of tomatoes and a few peppers. I think I owe him at least one jar of pickled green beans;)
So, long story short, I ended up with about 10 pounds of organic, local green beans for free. And with that, this year’s batch of pickled green beans was born.
They’re a little spicy, a little garlicky, a little dilly and a lot delicious.
I hope you enjoy:)
How to Make Pickled Beans At Home
Start by washing fresh, crunchy, organic green beans. Remove the vine end and if using a string bean variety, snap the ends off and remove the strings from the seams.
Prepare your jars for canning. For more info. check out my Beginner’s Guide to Water Bath Canning.
Make sure you’ve got all your canning tools ready to go too. Having everything ready to go ahead of time helps to ensure you don’t waste time and your jars don’t get cold when you’re ready to stuff them and pour in the pickling brine. These are the canning tools I swear by:
- Canning scoop
- Canning funnel (with built-in headspace measurement)
- Jar lifter
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (My canning “bible” and the book from which this recipe was adapted)
Next, cut the beans to the length of the jar you’ll be canning them in, minus a ½ inch. Pint jars are the perfect size for pickled green beans. (Cut them ½ inch shorter than the length of the jars to ensure you leave enough headspace when canning them).
Bring equal parts vinegar and water to a boil with some salt to make the pickling brine (exact ratios based on 6 pints of pickled beans are in the printable recipe below). Boil gently until the salt is completely dissolved.
While your brine is heating up, remove the hot jars from the canner and stuff each one of them with one large or two small garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of of dried chilli flakes (or one fresh or dried chilli pepper), and a handful of fresh dill. Then pack each jar as full as tightly as possible with green beans, making sure to leave a generous ½ inch of headspace at the top.
Pour the hot vinegar brine over the green beans, leaving ½ inch headspace. jostle the jars lightly to allow any trapped air to escape, then wipe down the rims, place lids on top and screw bands down.
Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Then remove canner lid and wait another five minutes before removing jars.
Allow jars to cool completely on the counter before storing them in a cool dark place. Allow pickled beans to sit for up to six weeks for best flavour results.
What about you? What’s your favourite way to enjoy green beans?
- 4½ lbs. green beans, washed, trimmed and cut into jar-length pieces
- 3 Tbsp. pickling salt
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1½ tsp. dried chilli flakes (divided) OR 6 fresh or dried chilli peppers
- 6 fresh heads of dill seed
- Prepare your canner and jars.
- Wash and trim vine ends off beans. Remove strings from string bean varieties. Cut beans into jar-length pieces, being sure to leave enough room for a ½ inch of headspace between the top of the beans and the top of the jar.
- In a saucepan, bring salt, water and vinegar to a boil over medium high heat. Heat, stirring until salt has completely dissolved.
- Remove jars from the canner and place one clove of garlic, ¼ teaspoon of dried chilli flakes OR one whole chilli pepper and one head of dill in each hot jar.
- Pack each jar full of beans until you can't pack any more in. Then, cover with hot vinegar brine, leaving a ½ inch of headspace at the top.
- Jostle jars gently to allow any trapped air bubbles to escape. Wipe rims, place lids on top and screw bands down to fingertip tight.
- Process jars in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes. Then remove canner lid and wait another five minutes before removing jars. Allow to cool completely before storing in a cool dark place.
Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂
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