For the past several years, I have been making refrigerator dill pickles using the cucumbers we harvest fresh from our garden. Making those simple, fresh pickles is a great way of pickling cucumbers without needing to spend hours standing over the canning pot. In minutes, I can prepare several mason jars full of cucumber pickles that will be enjoyed by the whole family.
I do make several batches of pickles each summer that are canned for long term pantry storage. With luck and little planning, those water bath processed jars of pickles last us well into the winter. They’re delicious and we enjoy every last bite. Yet, there’s something altogether wonderful about a pickle that can be made in minutes, kept cold in the refrigerator, and eaten fresh during the season when heirloom vegetables are so plentiful in our garden.
Once I mastered the refrigerator cucumber pickles, I started experimenting with other fresh garden produce. These dilly beans are now just as beloved at 1840 Farm as the cucumber variety. Because these quick pickled green beans will be consumed within days instead of months, the vegetables require no cooking and stay crisp and brightly colored.
Much like the cucumber pickles we look forward to each summer, these dilly beans are quick and easy to put together. Simply prepare the brining liquid as you prep the fresh green beans. Once the beans have been trimmed to remove the ends and sized to fit in the mason jars, simply fill the jars with the brine. Within hours, the beans will be infused with the flavor of dill and vinegar. By the next day, they will be dilly bean perfection.
I keep several wide mouth canning jars full of refrigerator dilly beans in our refrigerator. As one jar is emptied, I simply prep enough fresh green beans to refill the jar, add the beans to the brining liquid, and return the jar to the refrigerator I use plastic canning lids and write the day that the fresh beans were added using a dry erase marker. That way, I always know which jar been brined the longest and can serve those dilly beans first.
I find myself making more refrigerator dilly beans and refrigerator dill pickles almost every other day during the summer. They are both irresistibly fresh and vibrant in color and flavor. We can’t seem to get enough of them. Rest assured, I will be planting more cucumbers and green beans in our garden next summer!
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1840 Farm Refrigerator Dilly Beans
makes two wide mouth pint jars
Because these dilly beans are refrigerated instead of prepared for long term storage, the recipe can be adjusted to your preference. If you prefer a sweeter dilly bean, more sugar can be added. If you like your pickled beans with more zing, reduce the sugar to intensify the flavor of the vinegar. If you like a little heat, a small dried pepper could be placed in each jar before adding the trimmed green beans. I reuse the brining liquid several times during the course of a few weeks before making a fresh batch and starting the process all over again.
12 ounces white vinegar
4 ½ Tablespoons pickling salt
3/4 cup (144 grams) sugar
12 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bunch fresh dill
fresh green beans, washed and drained
Prepare the brining liquid by combining the white vinegar, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer gently over medium heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Gather two pint sized glass jars with lids. I prefer to use wide mouth jars as they are easier to fill, but any clean jar will do. To each jar, add 6 whole peppercorns, 2 clove of peeled and quartered garlic, and 1 generous handful of dill.
Trim the ends from the green beans before placing vertically in the prepared jars. Trim longer beans as necessary to fit in the jar. Continue to add trimmed beans until the jar is full.
Once the brining liquid has cooled to room temperature, pour approximately half of the liquid into each jar. Cover and swirl slightly to disperse the spices.
Refrigerate the beans until ready to use. These dilly beans must be refrigerated. They are not intended for long term pantry storage.