Food & Drink

Dilly Beans

Makes about 5 pints

A crisp summer bite—or an elegant Bloody Mary garnish

Photo: Johnny Autry

“I have been growing green beans and dill in my garden for years now with the sole purpose of putting up pints each summer,” writes the North Carolina author Ashley English in her new cookbook, Southern from Scratch. “Dilly beans are a delicious at-the-ready snack, especially lovely when partnered with a wedge of sharp cheese.” These pickles also stand out on a crudité platter or as a bright Bloody Mary garnish.


    • 2 lbs. green beans

    • 3 cups white vinegar

    • 3 cups water

    • ¼ cup pickling salt

    • 10 garlic cloves, peeled

    • 5 tsp. dill seeds

    • 5 tsp. brown mustard seeds

    • 2½ tsp. black peppercorns

    • 10 sprigs fresh dill


  1. Fill a canner or large stockpot with water, place five pint jars inside, and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to the boiling point.

  2. Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a full, rolling boil in a medium pot. Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the brine to a pourable, spouted container, such as a heatproof measuring cup, if desired.

  3. Using a jar lifter, remove the hot jars from the canner and place on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. Place 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp. dill seeds, 1 tsp. mustard seeds, ½ tsp. peppercorns, and 2 sprigs fresh dill in each jar. With the help of a canning funnel, pack the green beans into the jars, topped off by the brine, reserving ½ inch headspace.

  4. Use a spatula or wooden chopstick to remove any trapped air bubbles around the interior circumference of the jars. Wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on the lids and screw bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight.

  5. Again using a jar lifter, slowly place the filled jars in the canner. Be sure that the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, and then process for 10 minutes, starting the timer once the water is at a full, rolling boil.

From Southern from Scratch by Ashley English, © 2018 by Ashley English.  Photographs by Johnny Autry, © 2018 by Johnny Autry. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.