Do you like asparagus? My guess it that you do, or you wouldn’t be looking for a recipe for pickled asparagus.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love asparagus – next to raw milk, it might just be my favorite food. And when asparagus is in season here in Arizona, I can’t get enough of it. It has been in our CSA bag now for the last few weeks and I can’t get enough – and since one should never turn down an abundance of asparagus, this has become our favorite way to use it quickly!
Years ago, I would have frozen it to use in recipes later on ~ but the last few years I have been roasting it or pickling it.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy asparagus is to lay it on a baking sheet, drizzle in a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and parmesan cheese. Then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
So delicious … indeed, I could eat an entire baking tray. Yikes!
My next best way to use an abundance of any vegetable is by pickling. You see, I’m a huge fan of pickled anything – whether it be carrots, or cucumbers, or radishes… heck, I have even pickled celery. Trust me, pickling makes everything delicious.
Pickling asparagus is rather easy – all you need are a few simple ingredients and some empty quart canning jars. I love the wide mouth jars because they allow me to lay the jars on their side and pack in my veggies a littl ebetter.. but if you prefer the narrow mouth jars, feel free to use what makes you happy.
Feel free to adapt this recipe as you wish ~ the best part about it is that you can make a single jar or several jars, and it’s reliably amazing every time.
Really though – I follow the same pickling recipe for all my veggies so after you do a few jars, it’s a no-brainer – adjust as needed and make it work for you.
For each wide mouth quart canning jar you will need:
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 sprigs of organic dill
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 lb of fresh, organic asparagus (more or less, it depends)
- brine: 50% distilled, white organic vinegar + 50% water
Wash and sterilize your mason jars; in each jar, add 2 cloves garlic, 2 sprigs organic dill, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Trim your asparagus so that the stalks fit properly in your jar – it might be easier to lay the jars on their side so you can stuff the asparagus in there evenly.
On the stovetop, heat up a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water – for each jar, you’ll want 1 1/2 – 2 C of vinegar and 1 1/2 – 2 C. of water, add your salt (1/2 tsp per jar). Bring to a boil until salt is dissolved, and then remove from the heat.
Gently pour the brine into each jar and leave 1/2 inch of headspace.
Place your canning lid and bands on each jar; tighten, but don’t over do it. Process in your water bath canner for 15 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the water bath canner.
Let the jars cool on a towel for up to 24 hours – check the seals by pushing down in the center of the lid. If the center of the lid doesn’t pop up, it’s sealed.
Any jars that did not seal should be placed back in the water bath canner, or you may refrigerate for up to 3 weeks (or freeze for up to 1 year).
Now it’s time for you to go forth and create the best pickled asparagus with your harvest ~ not only is it delicious, it’s simple! Whether you have a pound of asparagus or a truck load, this is one of the easiest and best ways to preserve it for the long haul.