Green bean overload happens every year in my garden, so it’s a good thing they freeze well. Another great way to preserve them is to pickle them in a spicy brine. Bloody Mary. Red Beer. Hot Tomato. Michelada. Bloody Caesar…if you like your vodka or beer with a bit of tomato juice and a touch of heat, these spicy dilly beans are calling your name. But even if you’re not enjoying an adult beverage, these are good in salads, antipasto platters and straight out of the jar.
You can ramp up the heat with these a number of ways, depending on what you have on hand when you process them. I made this batch 1/2 with crushed dried pepper flakes and 1/2 with hot jalapenos from the garden. Be creative here – fresh and dried peppers both work. The level of heat is also in your hands, so make these your own.
Although this is a recipe for canned dilly beans, you don’t have to process these to enjoy them. Just simmer them for about 10 minutes in the brine, let cool, pop into a covered jar or glass container and refrigerate them. Because of the vinegar, these will keep in the fridge for a few months, no processing required.
This makes about 6 pint jars.
Spicy Dilly Beans Recipe
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 4 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
Per pint jar:
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 large fresh dill head
- 1/4 teaspoon dill seed
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes OR sliced fresh jalapeno
- 1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
- About 2 cups fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed (enough to pack the jar)
Sterilize jars, lids and bands for 10 minutes. Leave in hot water until ready to use.
In a large pan, add water, vinegar and pickling salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
In each sterilized jar, place 2 cloves crushed garlic, dill head, dill seed, hot peppers and peppercorns. Pack with green beans.
Pour hot brine over green beans, filling jar to 1/4 inch of rim. Wipe rim clean and seal with lid and band. Repeat for each jar.
Place packed and sealed jars into a boiling hot water bath, making sure water level is at least 1 inch above jars. Cover, reduce to low boil (but make sure water continues to boil) and process for 10 minutes. Carefully remove jars from water and let sit, undisturbed, until cool.
Store for at least 4 weeks before enjoying, to let the flavors really come together.
Any jars that don’t seal can be stored in the fridge.
I can seriously eat a jar of these by myself, that’s how much I love them. And feel free to switch this up with apple cider vinegar – it’s just as delicious, with a little different tang.
These little beauties also make great gifts, so something to keep in mind as your garden is winding down.