When I planted my tiny garden this year, I never imagined I would harvest enough of any one thing to actually make something besides dinner. I mean, how much food can you actually grow in a 4′ x 8′ box? Well, I have been surprised by this experiment more than once. The pea pods produced like crazy, I grew enough beets to can 6 jars of Swedish Pickled Beets and the swiss chard was the gift that kept on giving. (I just took some over to a friend last night).
But the real winners in my garden this year were the beans. I planted two pole beans, not knowing what to expect. In fact, they were kind of an afterthought. I didn’t even have poles for them to climb on, but it worked out perfectly because just as the pea vines were dying back, the beans took over my string trellis. And, so far, I have picked over 10 lbs. of beans from these two plants – plenty for eating and for making dilly beans.
Homemade Dilly Beans are tangy, a little spicy, and super easy to make.
Best of all, a few jars in your pantry ensure that you will have the appropriate garnish for your Bloody Mary when football season rolls around. That’s my thinking, anyway. (GO COUGS!!)
Joy makes some of the best Bloody Marys I’ve ever tasted (strong and zesty!) and this is her Dilly Bean recipe. It’s got a bit of added kick from red chili peppers, lots of fresh dill and just enough garlic to add flavor without overwhelming your taste buds. Joy’s original recipe calls for dried red chili peppers, but I decided to try fresh red jalapeños and the beans turned out nice and spicy, just the way I like ‘em.
It is completely safe to process pickled green beans in a simple water bath as long as they are canned in a brine (i.e. vinegar). If you just want to can your green beans, you’ll need to follow a different process. You can read more about canning beans at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
PS: We’ve got a new giveaway going on… an autographed copy of the James Beard Award Winning Cookbook Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen and some Seattle Gourmet goodies. Enter to win! Winner will be announced 9/1/12.
|Spicy Dilly Beans||
- 5 lbs. green beans, cleaned, ends snapped off & trimmed to fit your jars
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 6½ cups water
- ½ cup pickling salt
- FOR EACH JAR:
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 large head fresh dill
- ½ red jalepeno, sliced (or two dried red chili peppers)
- Place vinegar, water and canning salt in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, fill jars with peppercorns, garlic, dill and jalapeños.
- Pack the beans into the jars.
- Pour hot brine into the jars to within ¼” of the rims.
- Wipe the rims and sides of jars, then top each with a hot lid.
- Screw the lids on firmly and place jars into a boiling water bath (jars should be completely covered with water) and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars using tongs and place on a towel-lined jelly roll pan or countertop to cool.
- Over the next 12-24 hours you’ll hear a “ping” as the lids go concave signaling a secure seal. If the lids do not go concave, refrigerate the jar and use it first.
- Store securely sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
- Store for at least 2 weeks before opening.