We’ve had a bountiful crop of asparagus this year. I have literally picked a large bundle every day for the last few weeks. We have enjoyed asparagus soup, dipping sticks, asparagus wrapped in bacon, sautéed with garlic and red peppers, baked with mushrooms, and added to our chicken stir-fry. Even with all these yummy recipes, this asparagus lover decided she should try pickling asparagus.
Our Pickled Asparagus Spears recipe is not for the faint-hearted. It is spicy and has some kick to it! What more could one ask for in a crunchy, pickled asparagus spear? They are the best!
This recipe makes one quart of pickled spears and can easily be adapted to make additional quarts based on the amount of asparagus spears you have available to pickle. Once you taste these gems, you might want to fill a canner full for the upcoming winter months.
Also, if you have not canned vegetables before, and are looking for additional canning tips, check out page 24 for more details on preserving your garden crop in our book Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World®.
PICKLED ASPARAGUS SPEARS
15-20 spears of fresh asparagus, more or less depending on spear size
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon dill seeds
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
Start by filling your boiling-water canner half to three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil (this takes about 30 minutes). Next, wash (sterilize) your quart jar. Place garlic, dill seeds, sea salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes in the bottom of the jar. Wash asparagus spears and snap off the bottom end of spear so it fits into the quart jar (tip end facing rim of jar). Fill the jar with as many spears as it will hold. You will now have a jar full of spices and spears.
Combine the vinegar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the hot brine over the asparagus spears leaving half-inch space from the rim of the jar. Screw on canning lid and band. Place in boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. Gently remove from canner and set on the counter to seal. Wait one week for flavors to meld together before tasting. The jar of pickled asparagus will appear cloudy due to using apple cider vinegar, this is not a bad thing. The benefits of using this type of vinegar far outweigh the cloudy appearance.
Makes 1 quart