A couple weeks ago, Joe made a very large pot of minestrone, for which he bought a full pound of green beans, using only a handful (“They were only a dollar!”) After the soup was made and we were looking at a large amount of beans in peril of going bad if we did not do something with them, we decided the best way to use them up would be to pickle them. Joe and I love pickles. Although Joe detested them until his mid-20s, now anything pickled he sees in the store he will pick up to try. (“Look! Pickled green tomatoes!” “What do you think pickled lemons are for?”) I was eager to try our hands at beginning to pickle things in our own kitchen. We made a batch of dilly beans and ate them so quickly, the next weekend we bought another pound just to pickle those, too.
Dilly Beans – adapted from TheKitchn
makes 1 quart-sized jar or 2 pint-sized jars
1 pound fresh green beans (or snap/string beans of any color)
2 cloves garlic (sliced for stronger garlic flavor)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 fresh dill sprigs
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons pickling salt
Prepare the jars: Wash the jars, lids, and rings in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Set aside to dry or dry completely by hand.
Prepare the beans: Rinse the beans under cool running water and drain well. Trim the stem ends with a knife.
Fill the jars: Place the garlic, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds in the jar(s). Then, place the jar on its side. Place the sprigs of dill down first, then stack the beans in the jar, orienting them so that they will stand up straight when the jar stands upright. Pack the jar as tightly as possible. A full pound will fit in one quart jar, or you can divide the beans into 2 pint jars.
Make the pickling brine: Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Pour the brine over the green beans, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. You might not use all the brine.
Remove the air bubbles: Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if needed. Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
Cool and refrigerate: Let the jars cool to room temperature, then move the pickles to the refrigerator and try to let them sit for 48 hours before digging in to allow the flavors to grow. Store the pickles in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.