Learn how to preserve your summer harvest with delicious dilly beans!
Sour, salty and spiked with the strong aroma of dill, at the end of it’s season they are a real treat. You can eat them on the side of anything that goes with a good kraut. Or use them to bump up a charcuterie board or picnic plate.
Dilly beans are a pickle rather than a bean ferment. In the recipe fresh beans are covered with hot pickling juice and then processed in a water-bath. We like to temper our pickle juice with a little sugar, but this is optional and many traditional recipes don’t call for it.
This recipe will fill two No.27 Fowlers Vacola preserving jars. This is about the equivalent to 1.7 litres in jar capacity.
You can use any summer bean – wax beans, butter beans, borlotti and purple will all work well. Though we love the vibrant green of traditional french beans.
You can use “tougher” beans like scarlet runner or snake beans too. But you may want to use only younger ones of these types, or pre-blanch them to ensure they are tender.
Dill will also be going to seed at this time of year. But that is perfect! We love to add the flowering heads to jars. Not only do they have a pungent flavour but they look so pretty too.
Dilly Beans Recipe
- 500g summer beans, trimmed
- 2.5 cups vinegar (apple scrap or other)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp natural sea salt
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
- 0.5 tbsp dill seeds
- Garlic cloves (one per jar you are using)
- Sprigs of dill, or young fennel tops and flowers if you’re in a pinch
Rinse beans and dill sprigs and pack into clean jars.
Crush garlic cloves with a knife (leaving skin on is fine) and add one per jar.
Dissolve sugar and salt in vinegar and water over a medium heat, until mixture begins to bubble.
Stir through dill seeds, then pour the hot liquid over the beans. Top up with brine water (1 tbsp salt to 1 cup of water) if the beans are not completely covered.
Seal jars and process in a Fowlers Vacola preserving kit or canning water bath.
Properly sealed jars will keep for a year in your larder. Opened pickles should be kept in the fridge.