Patience is a virtue, so I'm told. I hope one day to have the fortitude to stand over a hot stove all day making pickles. Until then, I prefer to cheat a bit and put up quick pickles instead. Without processing in a water bath, these aren't pickles to add to your pantry shelf for enjoying this winter. My friend Carrie calls them Instant Gratification Dilly Beans, and their short lifespan doesn't make them any less delicious than their water bathed cousins.
Quick pickled dilly beans take only about ten minutes to put together: washing, trimming, and boiling included. Here's how:
Above: I chose yellow, green, and purple string beans from the farmers' market, just because I like the variety of color. A warning: purple beans won't stay purple for long after you add your hot brine. Enjoy the colors while they're fresh!
Above: I like to blend my own pickling spice from allspice berries, fennel, mustard seeds, and black pepper. Juniper berries, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise are other ingredients that you can experiment with to make your pickles taste good.
Above: After washing and trimming my beans, I added them to a quart-sized Weck Jar and added fresh dill, peppers, and peeled garlic.
Above: If you want spicier pickles, cut a hot pepper down the middle so that the spicy seeds will make direct contact with the brine. When your brine is combined, pour the hot liquid over your vegetables and let the magic begin.
Quick Pickled Dilly Beans
Recipe adapted from A Cook Grows in Brooklyn
- 1/2 pound (or enough to fit in a quart jar) green beans, washed and trimmed
- 3-4 stalks fresh dill
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2-3 tablespoons combined pickling spices. Equal parts fennel seeds, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and allspice works well
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2-3 hot peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
Combine water, vinegar, spices, sugar and salt into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside. Fill a quart jar with washed and trimmed beans. Add garlic, hot peppers, and dill. Cover the beans completely with brine. Cover and refrigerate. The beans will taste delicious just a few hours after they're made, but letting them sit in the brine for several days will allow the flavors to really meld. Beans should stay fresh up to two weeks in the refrigerator. But, you'll finish them before then.