Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pickled Asparagus


Who can resist the bounty of spring? From radishes to rhubarb, the delights do not stop.  A top favorite, of course, is asparagus.  Raw, roasted, grilled or steamed, these slender beauties offer a myriad of ways to be savored.


Asparagus season always feels too short to me and pickling is a delicious way to extend it.  I am a fan of quick pickles and their instant gratification.  My fridge is beginning to fill with jars, which makes me quite happy (Asian Style Rhubarb Pickles anyone?). Pickled asparagus has joined the briny collection and we’ve been contentedly munching away all week.


These pickled spears taste of grass and green – spring’s flavors.  I can imagine endless ways to devour them, such as a simple appetizer with homemade mayo, chopped in a salad, or served with polenta and a poached egg (eggs and asparagus always make a lovely marriage together).  My best suggestion, though?  Straight from the jar.

Pickled Asparagus
Makes 2 quarts

3 1/2 cups white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
10 sprigs of fresh dill
5 garlic cloves, halved
A few shakes of crushed red chile peppers
2 1/2 pounds (or 2 bunches) of asparagus, ends trimmed (save for making veggie stock)

For the brine, combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Divide the dill, garlic, crushed red chile peppers and asparagus spears between 2 sterilized, quart-sized jars.

Carefully fill the jars with the brine to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim, covering the asparagus completely. Discard any leftover brine. Place lids on the jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

20 comments:

  1. Mmm, I absolutely love pickled asparagus. Yes, definitely eaten straight from the jar.

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    1. This was my first time pickling asparagus - I'll be doing it again before the asparagus disappears. Love this time of year!

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  2. Oh, yum! And these are such lovely photos. I've been enjoying asparagus, too. But not pickled! Time to change that - these look so easy and good. And maybe they'll get more play time than the pickled turnips in the back of the fridge that haven't exactly been a hit :)

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    1. Thank you, Jenni! I hope you enjoy them. Hm, thanks for the feedback on turnips - I've contemplated them, too, as they seem like they'd be great to pickle. Turnips deserve more attention than they get. :)

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  3. Hmmm... Never had picked asparagus, but I do loves me some pickles! =)

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    1. Aren't pickles the best? I love this time of year and thinking about what to pickle next.

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  4. I love pickles, and yet never make my own. Now I must try.

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    1. I hope you enjoy them, Lynda! Once I started making quick pickles I couldn't stop - they do become addictive.

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  5. Is it already that time when all farmers markets in Seattle are offering the freshest and most delicious asparagus? Wow! beautiful pickled asparagus post! LOve it.

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    1. Thank you so much, Marina! Yes, it's that time of year...and what a lovely time. Asparagus makes me happy!

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  6. I love asparagus. Its one of my absolute favorite veggies. Unfortunately the rare time you can find it here in Israel, it is super expensive and oh so sad looking :( When I move back to the states I will for sure be keeping this in mind!!

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    1. Something to look forward to, Beth! You're lucky to have many other amazing veggie and fruit options in Israel to enjoy - I'm envious. There's no cucumber like an Israeli cucumber!

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  7. My favourite spring vegetable :) What a great way to preserve spring's bounty & I do love a little pickle :) I know what'll be first on my list for preserving next spring.

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    1. Thank you, Mairi - spring is an inspiring time. But so is fall with all its squash and root veggies...it's all good to me!

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  8. Yum, I love pickled asparagus and just finished our last jar! Beautiful pics too, Hannah!

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    1. Thank you so much, Karen! I'm loving the spring pickling...so delicious. I'll have to pickle some more before the season ends.

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  9. Delicious recipe! I used dill seed instead of dill weed, and a pickled 'seasoning pepper' (mildish habanero) for the heat. This is great for those stalks that get away from you in the garden -- how did they get to be two feet tall overnight? I just cut them into lengths and into the brine they go. Thanks for posting, Hannah.

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    1. My pleasure! I'm delighted you enjoyed it and could use your garden asparagus. I need to make another batch while I can still get it at the market. I like that you changed up the pepper, too. I made a batch recently with dried jalapenos and it was quite a bit spicier and so tasty. I'm happy you stopped by!

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  10. Question... I notice your recipe does not ask us to do a hot bath process. Does this mean that the jars must stay in the fridge in order to be safe to eat or can they sit on a shelf in the pantry? Thanks

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    1. Hi! I don't use bath canning for this so you're right, the asparagus must be kept in the fridge. I am a very novice canner and don't know the proper pH levels to make this safely shelf stable. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try! :)

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