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Dilly Beans

by Annette (Ward House)

Dig The Dirt Contributor!!

To read the Q & A with Annette about her homesteading lifestyle she lives with her teen-aged daughters click here. 


We have not always been a gardening family.  When living in the city it was about trying to keep up with the Jones', having the latest gadget, etc.  I had begun to move away from that lifestyle about a year before we moved to Bath County and was hooked on gardening and eating real food by the time we moved.  Making do with what we have, growing what we need, and saving resources have become everyday activities.  Keep in mind, both my BF and I work, I am attending classes at the 'local' community college (30 minutes south of here), three of our teen daughters are active at the high school and the fourth graduated and is attending classes at the same 'local' community college. 

Our journey has been full of ups and downs with lots of laughs and learning along the way.  A big chunk of learning comes from the garden; 80'x12' of mud at the moment.  Last year was tough as we had so much rain and then the squash bugs, potato bugs and cabbage loopers had a reunion.  Despite these hurdles, we ended up with enough blue lake beans to can several quarts and make dilly beans.  I had not made dilly beans before so this first batch was an experiment.  It was so successful that family blew through 6 pints and we ended up buying beans from a local restaurant to make some to give for Christmas gifts.  It is this recipe that I want to share with you now.

  • Dill seed
  • string beans of your choice
  • garlic clove
  • alum or one grape leaf
  • Brine:  1 C salt, 3 qt water, 1qt cider vinegar (use uniodized if possible)

Wash beans.  Bring jars to a boil in a canner, combine brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Into hot jars place dill seed/heads, 1 glove garlic, and 1/8-1/4 tsp alum or 2 grape leaves per jar.  Pack beans on top, fill with hot brine and press out air bubbles and add more beans were possible.  Really pack 'em in.  Clean the rims, seal and process 20 minutes (water bath).

Remember that these need to 'dilly' and should not be opened for at least 4 weeks. 

Of course, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to write.  Happy gardening!



recipe, canning


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marcydiané commented on 06/01/12
Those sound so good! I have seen recipes for dilly beans before but have never tried it. I thought about it last year, but the harvest was pitiful. Maybe this year! Do you know if I could use a grape leaf from a wild vine? We have wild grapes vines all over the place. I think they are muscadine - but they never produce.
gardengirl commented on 03/25/10
Yes you can use wild grape leaves. The class I took used wild leaves and I had to ask if my trellised vine leaves would be ok. =) I just made another batch last night (Ronnie brought some fresh baby beans home from the restaurant) and I forgot to include the dill seed. Hmm. Wonder what pickled beans will taste like - will find out in 30 days!
Ward House replied: on 03/25/10
Awesome - thanks!
gardengirl replied: on 03/25/10
I&#x27;ve never even heard of dilly beans- sounds pretty good though and I am planning on growing beans this year- I&#x27;ll let you know if I pull it off!
green juice commented on 03/17/10
I love dilled beans and it is great to have a recipe. Thank you.
teetee the gardner commented on 03/17/10
Very good article: simple and to the point instructions! Just the kind I need
sam spade commented on 03/16/10
Great recipe! And who can resist eating something called dilly beans...? Thank you!
pbcouchman commented on 03/16/10
Definitely going to use this this year- I always have so many beans left over from the season!
nematode commented on 03/16/10
Sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!
Shauna Tocchet commented on 03/16/10
YUM!! This sounds absolutely delicious. They would be a great addition to a salad too... <br/> <br/>Good way to keep your garden providing throughout the year!
butterfly commented on 03/16/10
Thank you for this recipe!! I really want to try it-- did your kids really like it? Have to give it a whirl!
earthworm commented on 03/16/10
Oh the kids (all in their teens) just devour them. We are planting extra bean rows this year to try to keep up with the demand.
Ward House replied: on 03/25/10
hey there- this is awesome! I have always been curious about canning, but have never tried it- thanks for the instructions and I am definitely going to do this with the beans I am planning on growing this year!
FigTree commented on 03/16/10
I was just determining which pole and bush beans to plant in my raised beds this year; nice to have a recipe to look forward to with some of the crop! Thanks so much.
chief cultivator commented on 03/16/10