Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pickled Asparagus

Since the Asparagus season is so short, I love to buy some and put it up, either by freezing or pickling some.

This is a small batch recipe only making 2-16 oz. jars, but can easily be doubled if desired.

How to use:  
  • Serve on an assorted pickle tray
  • Spread cream cheese on thinly sliced ham, place one or two spears on top and roll up for easy appetizer
  • Heat slightly with a little olive oil and serve on top of toasted French bread slices with tomatoes and onions as bruschetta
  • Use on a Caprese salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil

2-16-ounce jars (with new lids and seals)
3 pounds of asparagus, washed and trimmed to fit your jars (use the freshest asparagus you can)
1 ½ cup white vinegar
1 ½ cup water
2 tbsp. pickling salt
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 large cloves garlic, peeled, or 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  

Add the dill weed, peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic and red pepper flakes to the jars. 

Pack the asparagus into the jars over the spices, leaving 1/2-inch head-space. 

Pour the liquid over the asparagus, and tap the jars to remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims with a damp cloth, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath or steam canner for 10 minutes. 

Remove from jars from water onto a towel, and allow to cool completely. Once cool, remove the rings and check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Note - Use the freshest asparagus you can find. I purchase my asparagus at a local to me asparagus farm, or a farmers market I frequent, where the asparagus was picked the day before. Stalks should be firm, almost crispy, and snap when removing the woody bottoms. If adding time to adjust for altitude, bring boiling water bath to a low boil PRIOR to putting jars inside, then process for no more than 15 minutes. Immediately remove jars after processing and proceed with directions above.

Save all the cut ends to make an Asparagus Soup Base to be used for Creamy Asparagus Soup! 


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