CSA Cooking: Single Quart Fermented Dilly Beans

September 10, 2015(updated on August 30, 2021)

Philly Food Works September share

Last Thursday, the nice folks from Philly Foodworks dropped off my September share of goodies. The box contained a little bag of spring mix, 12 ounces of perfect green beans, one hefty eggplant, a tiny watermelon, both hot and sweet peppers, half a dozen ears of corn, a bundle of sweet corn, one giant heirloom tomato, six multigrain bagels from Metropolitan, and a bottle of sweet and spicy hot sauce.

bean close-up

Despite the utter chaos of the weekend (a family wedding, loads of visiting cousins, my mom in town, and my mother-in-law’s on-going health issues), I managed to cook, process, and preserve a goodly amount of the bounty in the box and I can feel how my future self is already appreciative.

12 ounces green beans

I combined the sweet and hot peppers with a head of garlic, some ginger, and a salt brine and it’s on the countertop turning into hot sauce as I type. I made a trio of easy salads with the corn, spring mix, eggplant, and tomato.

My mom and I split the watermelon, each taking a half and digging in with spoons (though I did save the rind for pickling). And with three people in the apartment, the bagels certainly didn’t last long.

beans in a jar

That leaves us with the hot sauce, swiss chard and the beans. I’ve been dribbling the hot sauce on scrambled eggs. The chard leaves are destined for a pot of soup, while the stems will make more of these pickles. And the beans are also on their way to becoming pickles. One of my favorite pickles, in fact.

beans in a jar side

I hinted at these pickles last fall when I gave away a short stack of preserving books. The bones of the recipe comes from the wonderful book Fermented Vegetables, though I’ve scaled it down (as I so often do). It ends up being an easy, adaptable pickle that stays super crisp, is effervescently tart, and just happen to have all those gut-friendly bacteria swimming about.

Make as big or as small a batch as you want. Just make them! And look for the hot sauce recipe next week!

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Single Quart Fermented Dilly Beans

Servings: 1 quart jar


  • 1 quart filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons very finely milled sea or pickling salt
  • 12 ounces green beans
  • 4-5 garlic cloves peeled and gently crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes or more for a spicier pickle


  • Combine the water and salt in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well so that the salt dissolves into the water.
  • Wash the beans and snap off the stem end.
  • Place the garlic cloves, dill seed, and red chili flakes in the bottom of a clean, wide mouth quart jar.
  • Pack the beans into the jar above the spices and cover them with the brine.
  • Set a weight on the beans (clean stones, pickle pebbles, or a quarter pint jar will all work). For this batch, I used a Kraut Source, but whatever your favorite fermenting set-up will do.
  • Set the jar on a small plate and tuck it into an out of the way spot that doesn't get direct sunlight and is neither too hot or too cold. I just keep mine on the kitchen counter.
  • Let the pickles sit for about a week and then taste one. If you like the level of tang, then they are done. If not, let them sit a bit longer. I find that they are best when the beans have faded in color a bit and take on a uniformly drab olive color.
  • Once you like where they are, remove whatever pickling apparatus you set up, put a lid on the jar, and pop it into the fridge.
  • They'll keep for months in cold storage.


You will have some brine leftover. You can use it for whatever other tiny batch ferment you'd like!

Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Philly Foodworks. Once a month, they give me one of their CSA boxes so that I can cook my way through it and share how I use and preserve the ingredients. You can find more about this partnership here

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17 thoughts on "CSA Cooking: Single Quart Fermented Dilly Beans"

  • Can you share the recipe for hot sauce? I have been wanting to make one and have the peppers ready and waiting 🙂

    1. I’m planning on it! Just want the batch to finish up first, so that I can share the process from start to finish. I should have it up next week.

  • Are the garlic and hot pepper included for flavor, or do they contribute to the fermentation process?
    I ask because altho we love dill pickles, my husband is allergic to most alliums (I could use chives, but that’s about it) and all capsicums. I’ve found commercial pickled cucumbers (Vlasic’s low-salt Kosher dills are good!) that he can eat with no ill effects, but beans and okra . .. they’re all “seasoned.”

  • Oh, wow, Marisa. It’s like you read my mind! I was telling my son this morning about the dilly green beans my grandmother used to make, and how I’d sneak an entire jar off her pantry shelves then eat them myself without telling anyone. (I think she knew, since I’d always leave the empty jar in the sink.) Then a vendor at the Farmer’s Market was interested in giving me a great deal on 6 lbs. of green beans that he didn’t want to have to take home and freeze. I came home wondering what to do with them, and they were literally sitting in the colander drip-drying when I decided to catch up on blog reading. And then I find this?! It’s serendipity! I am SO making these tomorrow. Thank you!

  • Waitin’ with anticipation for the hot sauce recipe. Overwhelmed by peppers in every shape, size, intensity and color here on the farm. I’m surrounded by a hot sauce craving family who keep trying to replicate the ones they know and love from grocery store shelves. We’ve come close but are always willing to take another stab at it with a new recipe. Thanks!

  • Do you cover the dilly beans while they are on the counter? It feels like they need a lid.

    Thank you for the recipe. I’ve got my batch started as of this afternoon.

    1. I cover them with a clean dish cloth or a couple of layers of paper towel, secured with a rubber band. You don’t want to put a lid on the jar because you want the gases to be able to escape.

  • What do you recommend for the leftover brine? Can you ferment anything following the same instructions as in this recipe? I keep hearing more and more about the probiotic power of fermented foods and really want to incorporate more into my diet. I love pickles, so the obvious choice to me seems to be fermented pickling stuffs with dinner each night 😉 I mean, twist my arm.

  • I’m a few days in to the fermentation process and my brine is fairly cloudy in places. Does that mean it’s spoiled?

  • I use a wide mouth pickle pepple weight and the pickle pipe for fermenting. I had to toss pickles because fuzzy white mold grew on top because dill seeds floated up to the top. I just put together this recipe and no matter how much I pack the jar, little bits of red pepper and dill seed sneak up to the top around the weight- any tips, tricks or pointers? Thanks!