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Recipe: Lacto-fermented Green Beans with Cayenne Peppers and Garlic

Spice up your summer beans with the addition of hot and flavorful cayenne peppers and herbs.


  • ½ cup sea salt
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 2 lbs. fresh green beans, washed
  • Grape or mesquite leaves
  • 6-12 cayenne peppers, washed and tops removed
  • 6-12 sprigs fresh dill
  • ½ cup black peppercorns, crushed coarse
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and quartered
  • ¾ cup raw apple cider vinegar


  1. Make a brine by dissolving the sea salt in water.
  2. Cut the ends off green beans. Measure them by the jars and cut them to fit in lengthwise, with 1 inch of headspace at the top.
  3. Place ½ of one grape leaf or a few mesquite leaves into the bottom of each of 6 quart-size jars. Fill jars with green beans, tightly packing them into the jar.
  4. Use a butter knife to gently slide in 1-2 cayenne peppers per jar. Do the same for the dill sprigs, 1-2 per jar. Add 1-2 tsp. crushed peppercorns atop the green beans, followed by 2-3 garlic pieces.
  5. Pour 2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar into each jar, then fill with brine solution, leaving 1 inch headspace at the top.
  6. If necessary, weigh the beans down under the brine.
  7. Cover each jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  8. Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using tight lids, burp daily to release excess pressure.
  9. Once the beans are finished, put a tight lid on each jar and move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop as beans age.

At A Glance

PREP: 30 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour
YIELD: Makes about 1 gallon.