I’ve loved dill pickles ever since I was a toddler, all thanks to my mom’s mother — Grandma Doyle to me. Out to lunch at Friendly’s one day, she gave me a pickle spear to gnaw on when I started to fuss. My facial expressions fluctuated between a sour pucker and grin; from what I’ve heard, it was quite an amusing site to behold.
Fast forward twenty-odd years and my fondness for pickled cukes was still going strong, but I had yet to experiment with other pickled veggies. It wasn’t until my father-in-law, Bill, pulled out a jar of dilly beans during one of our visits that a whole new world of pickled possibilites opened. The dill was certainly pronounced, followed by a bit of heat and a nice amount of seasoning from the peppers and garlic. When I got back home to my kitchen the dilly bean experiments commenced.
I don’t can — despite what a quick peek in my cabinets at the large number of Mason jars may lead you to believe — but that is a completely unnecessary skill for this recipe. Pack a heatproof jar with the beans/dill/garlic/peppers, pour over some hot brining liquid, cool to room temp, then refrigerate for several days before enjoying. Easy enough, right? Using haricots verts (French greens beans) streamlines the process even more — their slimness makes blanching and shocking in ice water unnecessary (though if you like less crisp pickles feel free to add this step).
If canning intimates you, but you love pickles as much as I this is a great place to start — fridge pickles are the answer!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Preparation Time: 1 hour plus several days
Makes: 1/2 pint
- 4 ounces (1/4 pound) haricot vert, stem end trimmed
- 1/4 cup dill, packed
- 1/4 ounce (7 grams or about 2 – 3 cloves) garlic, cut each in half top to bottom
- 2 dried chile de árbol, split lengthwise
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) white vinegar
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) water
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pack beans into a half pint Mason jar (trim ends a little more if too tall). Into center of the beans, pack dill. Slide garlic clove halves and chiles between the beans and jar; add any chile seeds that fell out when splitting into the jar.
In a small saucepan, combine vinegar through salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes. Pour brine over beans, remove as many air bubbles as possible. Cover jar and cool to room temperature for about 1 hour before transferring to refrigerator for about 5 days before enjoying. Consume within a week or two.