One thing is for sure, we have a LOT of beans coming through our kitchen door these days. So many beans in fact that there is no feasible way to eat them all. Enter “Operation Dilly Bean.” If you have never eaten a pickled bean, a.k.a. dilly bean, you must make it your duty to eat one this year. A dilly bean earns a solid ranking in the top 3 list of pickled veg in my book. Yum.
This past Sunday found me hovering over the kitchen island chopping beans and breathing in vinegar fumes, with visions of dilly beans dancing in my head. The past few years I used a dilly bean recipe from this book, but this year I decided to mix things up a bit and try something new. I used the basic pickling recipe from this cookbook, and based on how great Miss English’s other recipes are, I’m sure this one will not disappoint.
We have a few little friends who have again found an entry point into our garden: the rabbits. So before they could reek havoc over too much of the garden space, I picked what I could from our bean patch because that seems to be their vegetable of choice right now. I was shocked to find, that despite this incessant heat we have been experiencing, I was able to harvest quite a hefty bean crop. In fact, I was able to gather so much that I needed to find something to do with some of them. Enter dilly beans.
For those of you that have never had dilly beans, they are just plain yummy. A little hot from the chilli peppers, a little sour from the vinegar and a little spicy from the garlic…what more could a girl ask for?
This year I found a great recipe in Putting Food By (listed below with a link), which only required a hot water bath canning method. There were very few ingredients required and the entire process did not take long at all. Now we have some more great summer veg ready to go for the winter.
What do you do with your surplus of green beans? Leave a comment and share ideas with others.
Some of our favorite home preservation books are:
Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg and Beatrice Vaughan
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (There are some great canning recipes scattered throughout the piece.)
The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader