Fantastic Fermented Green Beans

By • June 30, 2014 9 Comments

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Author Notes: Lightly adapted from Kevin West's Saving the Season. A note on salt: volume measurements for salt vary dramatically from brand to brand, so weighing the salt is your best bet. That said, the 6 ounces called for here will equal about 3/4 cup of Morton's coarse flakes. On weighing: the crucial thing in fermentation is not to have the vegetables exposed to the air; you want them fully submerged in the brine. As West suggests, the easiest, least expensive way to do this is simply to fill a Ziploc bag with extra brine (a 5 percent salt-to-water ratio, just in case it leaks) and use the bag to push the beans down under the brine. It works surprisingly well.Nicholas Day

Makes 3 quarts

  • 1 gallon bottled water
  • 6 ounces salt
  • 2 pounds small green beans
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 flowering dill heads, or 4 to 6 dill fronds plus 2 tablespoons dill seeds (optional)
  1. Heat the water just until the salt dissolves. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Trim the stem ends from the beans. Then layer them and the other ingredients in either a 2-gallon crock or a couple of 1-gallon jars. Cover with the brine. Weigh the beans down -- see note above -- and place the crock or jars in a relatively dark place at room temperature. The crock or jars should be covered, but not tightly sealed, so that gases produced during fermentation can escape. If using a crock without a lid, cover it with a plate or board and drape with a clean dish towel. If using jars, screw lids on loosely or remove the rubber seal (if using the style of jar pictured).
  3. Bubbles will appear in 4 or 5 days. Skim any floating scum off the surface daily. (It's supposed to be there; don't let it worry you.) Taste occasionally. The beans should be fully pickled in about 2 weeks. Once they are ready, just refrigerate the beans in the brine. They will continue to ferment in the fridge, but at a much slower rate. Eat within a couple of months.

More Great Recipes: Green Beans|Vegetables|Appetizers|Condiments|Snacks

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Comments (9) Questions (0)


about 1 year ago Horto

i would go with the original recipe if I were you


about 1 year ago JW

I've used this method to make pickled green tomatoes as well, as it's fantastic.


about 1 year ago Pleazhold

There is mold growing on top of my brine... is that right or has something gone wrong?


about 1 year ago Roger Lane

Can this be done in several smaller quart jars? It looks like the photo above is a quart (or smaller) jar, but I want to be sure before trying this one.


about 1 year ago IlovePhilly

You can do any size container you like. The key is that the vegetables fit and are suitably submerged under the liquid.


about 1 year ago Lynn D.

Does the water really need to be bottled?


about 1 year ago Sophia Henkel

You need clean water, so if you have a good filter you should be fine.


about 1 year ago IlovePhilly

Definitely not. I've been fermenting for many years and I have never used bottled water.


about 1 year ago Wendy Vania

City water that's chlorinated can disrupt the fermentation process, at least that's what i understand.