Pickled Asparagus

Pickling is a great way to put aside asparagus during the spring season to be enjoyed all year long.  This recipe gives a pickle with a mild dill flavor, great in a bloody mary or on a relish plate.

Note that the amount of brine below is enough to make about 4 pint jars of pickled asparagus.  Plan on 1.5 – 2# of whole asparagus for each pint of pickles to be made.  The spices, garlic thyme and bay measurements are given for each pint jar of pickles.

Ingredients

3 cups water
3 cups white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons kosher salt
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon India red chili flake
1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
2 cloves
4 allspice berries
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
half a bay leaf
1/3 teaspoon dill seeds
8# best quality green asparagus

Preparation

  1. Sterilize canning jars and lids for 10 minutes in boiling water in a canning pot. Bring a large pan of water with a pinch of salt to a boil for blanching the asparagus. Combine the water, salt and vinegar in a pan, bring to a boil, stir well then turn heat to low.
  2. Measure out the spices, bay, thyme and garlic for each jar to be made. If the garlic has a germ, half the clove and remove the germ.
  3. Break of the tough stem end of the asparagus spears. Trim the spears so that they are all the same length and so that they just fit into the pint jars with about 1/4 inch of head space. Wash the asparagus.
  4. Blanch the asparagus spears for about 1 minute in the boiling salted water. Drain but do not shock. Put the spears, spices, and herbs into the sterilized jars, packing tightly.
  5. Add hot brine to the jars to cover the top of the asparagus, filling to about 1/4 inch from the top of the jar. Wipe the rim of the jars, then screw on the sterilized 2 piece lids, closing them hand tight.
  6. Seal the jars by placing them in boiling water in the canning pot for 12 minutes. Do not crowd the pot; if the jars rattle together, they may crack or break. Remove the jars from the canning pot and allow to cool on a clean towel.
  7. The next day, check the seal by removing the ring and lifting the jar by its lid only. Put the jars in a cool, dark place for at least 4 weeks.
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