Refrigerator Dilly Beans

Refrigerator Dilly Beans

The time has come for green beans! They came in with a bang. Beans have been one of our most fruitful crops so far, and I am not disappointed. This is actually my first year growing beans so I was not sure what to expect from them. I am a pretty much a "don't mess with it" type of gardener and just let things grow as they need, with mindful attention if anything seems out of balance like an insect or fungal problem. But if pruning or pinching is indeed a practice, at least in the first year of growing, I just leave it be. This is my second year leaving the tomatoes be, and I am slightly regretting that. I should have pinches more suckers and pruned the bottom branches - they're a bit too branchy and heavy, but now I know for next year. Right?! Either way, our beans are gorgeous. I am growing a few different varieties including Royal Burgundy (not producing as much as I'd like, kind of small pods), Blue Lake (producing okay), and Provider (holy wow! the biggest and most prolific beans!). They are all bush varieties because I didn't want to waste money and time on installing stakes for a pole/climbing variety. I already like it much better! No training required! 

Making dilly beans in the refrigerator was something that I really wanted to try this year! We've gotten used now to the idea of canning in a hot water bath, so why not look into other ways of preservation like fermenting? Fermentation is scary and also extremely fascinating. I mean, leaving food to just sit out, grow yeast and bacteria, and then taste amazing is something that baffles me. And also makes me nervous and grossed out. But that's okay. Working with real, raw foods is pretty amazing. It's the main reason we are even farming at all! I am happy that we have enough beans for me to be able to put some aside for experimenting like this.

Ingredients + Recipe |

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 dill flower heads and about 8 dill leaves
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns 
  1. Sanitize your jars. You will need two quart jars for this recipe. I sanitize like I would for hot water bath canning: place the jars in a pot with a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Fill the pot up with enough water to cover the jars. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. The vinegar helps in the sanitization but it also prevents the jars from getting the "foggy glass" appearance as well.
  2. Snap the ends off of your beans. Place them aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the 2.5 cups of vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat.
  4. Pack each sanitized jars with a dill flower and leaves, two cloves garlic, equal parts red pepper flakes and peppercorns, and green beans. Make sure to leave 1/4 inch head space between the beans and the top of the jar.
  5. Pour the brine over the beans and let cool to room temperature. Seal the jars to fingertip tight.
  6. Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks and allow to ferment.
  7. They will continue to keep for up to one month in the fridge as you eat them!

In they go! These beans are going to taste so good. I am excited for them to be ready for me to eat, especially since we grew them ourselves! Have you ever fermented anything in the fridge before? What was it? I'd love to learn of more things to pickle in this way!

xoxo Kayla


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