It must be a southern thing, ’cause I’d never in my life heard of Dilly Beans before moving out here. Although… I had no idea people still canned either, so that’s not saying much is it?! For those who don’t know, Dilly Beans are a kind of pickled green bean. You eat them cold, like you would pickles. And this morning I canned my very first batch of them.
I haven’t had a chance to taste them yet, I’d like to let them sit in the brine for about a week before I open a jar, but I thought I’d go ahead and share the recipe with you in case you’d like to make some for yourself! This recipe came from the Ball Blue Book of Canning. I think I’ll search the internet for variations and see which recipe I like the best. Maybe you have a favorite way to make these that you’d like to share?!
I wanna start off by explaining something that I had to look up before I could begin my canning session: this particular recipe called for ‘4 heads of dill’.
But what the heck is a head of dill?
Well, it’s actually the flowering ‘head’ of the dill plant. I don’t think you’ll have much luck finding it anywhere unless you or someone you know grows dill. If you’d like to make this recipe and you can’t find fresh dill heads you could substitute 1/2 tsp dill seeds per pint jar instead. Dill seeds are in the spice section of the grocery store.
I just so happened… proudly puffing up chest… to have some fresh dill heads growing in my garden! I thought it was so awesome that the dill was coming to a head exactly at the same time the green beans were coming in. It’s as if the Lord meant for them to go together!
The flowering clusters at the top of each stem are the heads. Each individual round cluster is one head. So, for this recipe I just snipped off one round cluster to drop into each jar of beans.
Alright, so now that that’s all cleared up… on to the recipe!
Dilly Beans Canning Recipe
(Makes 4 pint jars)
- 2 pounds green beans (about six cups)
- 1/4 c. canning salt
- 2 1/2 c. vinegar (I used white)
- 2 1/2 c. water
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper, divided (I used the flakes, not the powder)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 heads dill
Wash beans, and trim ends off. I measured my beans to within 1/4″ from the rim of my pint jars and snipped them to size.
Combine salt, vinegar and water in a large saucepot. Bring to boil. Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Add 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 head dill to each pint jar. Add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 cloves garlic and 2 heads dill to each quart jar. Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
If you have a different recipe for dilly beans that your family loves, feel free to share it below!