These pickled asparagus spears are a beautiful way to use up an abundance of asparagus! Sweet yet tangy asparagus pickles – perfect for snacking!
Pickled asparagus isn’t something that comes to the top of your mind when you think of summertime and pickles. In fact, it may not even come to your mind at all.
But in all honesty, asparagus is absolutely delicious when pickled in a delicious brine. It’ll be your new favorite asparagus recipe next time you get your hands on some garden-fresh asparagus (or a sale in store).
I had so much fun making this recipe .. primarily because when it was done, I couldn’t stop eating it. Cucumber pickles are addictive; but pickled asparagus is downright dangerous!
Here are a few more of my pickled favorites:
If you have an abundance of home-grown asparagus, or if you are able to score a great sale on it at the market, give this recipe a try.
These spears are a beautiful way to use up that abundance, and perfect for snacking. Serve up next to your favorite cheese, or eat next to your next BBQ pork or steak at the next summer get together. No matter what way you serve them, you’ll love the flavor that the brine imparts on the spears.
Can I use smaller jars?
You definitely can! I have made pickled asparagus in quart jars (which is what this recipe is) – and had great success. Two large bunches is sufficient for 2 quart size canning jars. However, I have also made pickled asparagus in pint size jars (and just trimmed the stalks a bit more.
If you are canning in pint jars, the process time in the water bath canner will be 10 minutes, versus 15 minutes for the quart size jars. This pickled asparagus recipe is great to make and share with neighbors, family or even friends.
Pickled Asparagus Spears
- quart canning jars, rings and bands
- 2 bunches asparagus tips medium to thick in diameter
- 4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 4 tsp pickling spice
- 2.5 C white vinegar
- 2.5 C water
- 1/2 C sugar
- 3.5 Tbsp kosher salt
Prepare for Water Bath Canning:
- I use the large, enamelware canning pot with the removable wire rack that holds the jars. Since you are using tall (quart) jars, you will need a pot that allows water to cover the top of the jars by at least 1". Place the jars in the pot on the wire rack. Then fill the pot with enough water to cover the rack by at least 1". Bring this pot to a boil over high heat - it will take at least 20 minutes so get started right away. Take the lids and bands and place in a shallow pan with water; simmer those lids until you fill the jars with asparagus.
Blanch the Asparagus:
- While the water heats in the pot, trim the asparagus to 6" lengths. (Don't throw the scraps away! They are great drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt - roast them for a nice dinner side). Bring a medium pot to a boil with water. Once the water boils, add the asparagus; bring to a boil and then immediately drain and transfer to ice cold water to cool. Drain well.
- Combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- In each jar, place 2 teaspoons of each red pepper flakes and pickling spice. Place 2 garlic cloves in each jar (do this while the brine is boiling).
- Divide the blanched asparagus between both jars - you may have to lay the jars on their side to pack them as tightly as possible. Ladle the hot vinegar brine mixture into the jars, leaving 1/2" headspace at the top of each jar. Wipe the rims with a clean rag, then put a lid on each jar, followed by a ring. Tighten until finger tight.
Process the Jars:
- Return the filled jars to the canning pot. The water should cover the jars at least 1 inch or more. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove the jars to a towel placed on the countertop. Do not touch the jars for up to 12 hours - the lids should seal during that time (you will hear a "ping"). The lids are sealed when they cannot be pushed up and down. Label the sealed jars and place in a cool pantry.
- Unopened jars should keep for one year in a cool, dark place. Once opened, consume the asparagus within one week.
- Boil for 10 minutes if using 4-, 8- or 12-ounce jars.
- Boil for 15 minutes if using 16-ounce jars.
If you give this recipe a try, please leave a comment, rate the recipe and be sure to let me know, below, how it turned out for you!