We love the sense of wonder that arises when folks are pickling for the first time. Since dilly beans are some of the easiest lacto-fermented pickles to make, they’re usually where we begin. Look for thinner, smaller beans. The fresher and crisper they are, the crunchier they’ll be. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced pickler, these beans will make for an endlessly satisfying snack.
Excerpted from the book THE GEFILTE MANIFESTO by Jeffrey Yoskowitz & Liz Alpern. Copyright © 2016 by Gefilte Manifesto LLC. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Lauren Volo.
- 2 cups filtered water, plus more if needed
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more if needed
- ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
- ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
- 2 sprigs fresh dill
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ pound green or pole beans
- Pour the filtered water into a clean wide-mouthed quart-size jar. Pour the salt into the water, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and shake to dissolve the salt.
- Add the mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf, dill, and garlic, then add the green beans. Pack the beans in tightly, squeezing as many as possible into the jar, making sure the brine covers the vegetables. If it doesn’t cover the beans, mix a heaping 1½ teaspoons of salt with 1 cup of water, then pour in enough to cover the vegetables. Seal the jar.
- Let the beans sit at room temperature for 5 to 7 days, briefly opening the jar once every couple of days to “burp” it (unsealing the lid each day to let the carbon dioxide that is created out so the jar doesn’t crack under the building pressure). You’ll notice that the beans will turn pale after about 2 days. The time the beans take to ferment fully will vary depending on air temperature and elevation. Taste the beans each day after the fifth day until the desired level of sourness is reached. The brine will begin to appear cloudy and may be a bit fizzy. That’s fine.
- When you are happy with the taste of the beans, remove all white yeast or mold from the top of your jar, if any has appeared. Cover the jar and place the pickled beans directly in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 6 months.