lacto-fermented green bean pickles

August 1, 2011

recipe requested by erica!

also called “dilly beans” and one of my favorite pickles. crunchy and satisfying.

wash a bunch of green beans (or wax beans, or anything tender) well, and stand ’em up in a clean glass jar.

as you do this, layer things you like – garlic or onion or both, fresh herbs of any kind, spices, anything – in the jar.

add saltwater about as salty as your tears (leave head room!)

lid the thing, shake and burp a few times a day to off-gas.

don’t cram the jar too full. just full enough.

some flavor combos i really like?

garlic-cumin-coriander-black mustard seed
onion-bayleaf-yellow mustard seed
onion-allspice-clove-yellow mustard seed

or any combination you like!

(try to use whole spices if you can, and try to crack once in a mortar and pestle to release flavor without grinding! but ground spices are ok, too.)

the lactobacillus bacteria will do the rest – preserving the beans, while imparting a tangy, sour flavor and simultaneously populating your gut with healthy bacteria that reduce risk or severity of depression, celiacs, insomnia, obesity, colon cancer, GI disorders and inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.


i’ve used this method for years without ever getting sick from it, but it is possible to contract botulism with this closed-jar method. if you’re worried, you can try this 100% safe open-crock method.


  1. oh mai gawd! sig, i want to cook with you! thanks! i’ll make sure erica looks at this asap (she is without internet power). XO

  2. yes! this is exciting! we will have to try this. thank you!

    should we just taste every day or so to decide for ourselves they’re “done”?


    • TASTE ONE EVERY DAY. maybe two. 😀

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