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This is my expansion of a recipe found on the back of a jug of Heinz distilled white vinegar. Handling and processing still follows USDA pickling guidelines.
- 4 lbs fresh green beans or 4 lbs yellow beans, about
- 3 1⁄2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 3 cups bottled water
- 3 tablespoons pickling salt or 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 3 bunches fresh dill, rinsed and stemmed (1/2 bunch per jar)
- 6 -12 cloves garlic, peeled and halved (1 or 2 per jar)
- 6 baby carrots, halved lengthwise (2 halves per jar)
- 6 small serrano chilies, rinsed and stemmed (1 whole chile per jar)
- 1 medium onion, cut into 6 1/4 inch slices (1 slice per jar)
- 1 medium lemon, cut in 6 1/8 inch slices and seeded (1 slice per jar)
- 6 medium bay leaves or 12 small bay leaves (1 or 2 per jar)
- 36 whole black peppercorns (6 per jar)
- 18 whole green peppercorns (3 per jar)
- 18 whole pink peppercorns (3 per jar, pretty) (optional)
- 6 whole juniper berries (1 per jar) (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dill seed
- If desired, just use 12 black peppercorns, and omit pink and green peppercorns and/or juniper berries.
- This is much prettier, though, and tastes better.
- Sterilize 6 wide-mouth pint canning jars in boiling water in processing pot, which will be used later for processing beans.
- While water is heating, wash beans, trim ends, and cut in 4" lengths.
- Slice onions, lemons, and carrots, and peel garlic.
- Set aside all of the dry spices in 6 small piles, ready go in jars.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar, and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and maintain at a low simmer while packing the jars.
- Remove jars from water bath, drain, and place an onion slice, dry spices, and bay leaves in the bottom of each jar.
- Pack green beans, serrano chile, carrot halves, and garlic tightly into jar, place fresh dill on top, tucking in so none touches the rim.
- Top with a lemon slice to hold down dill, and repeat with all remaining jars, leaving ¼ headspace (if ingredients are cut to specifications, it all fits).
- Fill jars with boiling vinegar mixture, leaving ¼ headspace.
- Make sure all of the dill is tucked in, wipe the rims, and immediately seal with sterilized lids and rings.
- Place in hot water bath over high heat, bring to a boil, and process for 10 minutes after water returns to a boil.
- Remove from water bath, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Check for seal by pressing down on lids.
- If they are down and dont pop in and out, the seal is good.
- If seal is not good, reprocess with new lids to try for a seal, or store jars that did not seal in refrigerator until used.
- Allow to set for at least 3 weeks before using.
- Makes 6 pints.