I’m not sure when “pickles” came to indicate cucumbers that are pickled, and nothing else. You can buy pickled garlic, pickled eggs (eeeeeew), but the pickles section is predominantly composed of cukes. Oh sure, there’s variety: sweet pickles, bread & butter pickles, dill pickles, kosher dill pickles, zesty dilly pickles, pickle chips, and more. But they are all cucumbers!
It turns out this was not always so. Those of you who can have probably seen many kinds of pickles in your cookbooks. Pickled okra! Pickled beets! Pickled peaches!
And one of my personal favorites, pickled green beans!
Dilly beans start with a heap of fresh, brilliant green snap beans. They’re dirt cheap right now at my local farmers market, so it’s a great time to buy a bunch and pickle them.
For a little extra pizazz, each jar gets a dried chili pepper. Pretty to look at, and they give these pickles a zesty little kick.
As with many pickles, these are also very quick to make. The lengthiest part of the process is snipping the ends off the beans. Then, quick boil of vinegar, water, and pickling salt and a trip through the water bath canner and you’re set!
I love these little pickles. They are unbelievably crisp, zesty, and dilly, and they offer a great change of pace from ye olde cucumber pickles.
Happy green bean season!
Adapted just a bit from Saving the Seasons
Makes 3-4 pints
2 lbs fresh green beans
4 dried red chili peppers
4 cloves garlic, peeled
6 tsp dill seed
2 1/2 c white vinegar
2 1/2 c water
1/4 c pickling salt
Wash beans thoroughly and snip off both ends of each bean. In each of four sterilized jars, add one dried pepper, one clove garlic, and 1 1/2 tsp dill seed.
Before packing the beans into the jars, combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. While that is heating, pack beans vertically in the jars as tightly as possible without crushing the beans.
Once the vinegar mixture has come to a boil, pour into jars leaving 1/4″ head space in each jar. Wipe rims of jars and lid, tightening the rings until they are finger-tight. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Allow jars to rest for 24 hours, then label, remove rings, and store.