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Lacto-fermented dilly beans

Seth Travins / Hawthorne Valley Farm, Valley Table Issue 36

One-quart Mason jar
1- or 2-piece lid

Timeframe: Approximately 14 days

1 1/4 pounds young green beans (beans should be crunchy and not fully formed)
3 to 4 teaspoons salt (It's important to use non-iodized salt. This includes sea salt, land salt and kosher salt without additives. Hawthorne Valley Farm uses Celtic sea salt in all of its lacto-fermented products.)
2 to 4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 to 2 flowering dill heads (substitute 1 teaspoon dried dill if you have no fresh dill)
1 teaspoon mustard seed
fresh or dried hot pepper to taste
Optional: Other spices to taste-coriander, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger

1. Boil 2 to 3 quarts of water with a little non-iodized salt.
2. Submerge green beans for 2 to 3 minutes (until they turn bright green); remove from heat and cool completely with cold water.
3. Place cooked, cooled beans in a clean, 1-quart Mason jar and add salt, garlic and spices.
4. Cover beans, spices and salt with water to top of jar.
5. Put a 1- or 2-piece lid on the jar; shake to dissolve salt.
6. Place jar in a room where the temperature is steadily 65 degrees to 75 degrees (if the temperature fluctuates, the fermentation will be mediocre).
The beans should be done in about 14 days. After this initial fermentation, the beans should be stored in the refrigerator. They will continue to mature and age for several months, but can be eaten any time after the initial fermentation.

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