When Marc Thomas and I began dating, he spent a bunch of time in Seattle for work. He would bring me back lovely presents… like pickled asparagus from Pike’s Market. We both LOVE pickled asparagus, especially in Caesars.
So it was asparagus season, so we bought a TON on sale at the market to try our hand at pickling. By WE I mean ME. The recipe calls for 30 spears, however, we bought the thin ones, so there were more asparagus spears in each jar. We bought a LOT…. so, I packed the jars tightly and added the brine. Once I processed the jars, my asparagus looked wrinkly, but they eventually plumped up again. I ended up making double the brine as I had lots of asparagus… then ended up with too much brine… so did some pickles too. The taste was great.. although I would add a bit less vinegar next time. I also added some pickling spice to each jar to make sure it was evenly distributed.
- 30 asparagus spears
- 1/3 cup coarse salt
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1 2/3 cups distilled white vinegar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
- 1 clove of garlic for each jar
- 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- sprigs of fresh dill
- Trim the cut end of the asparagus spears, and cut them to fit into jars (I use 1 L jars) and leave 1 inch headspace. Place them in a large bowl with 1/3 cup salt, and cover with water. Let stand for 2 hours. Drain and rinse under cool water, and pat dry. (this is important and it keeps it from “floating”)
- Sterilize your jars in simmering water for 5 minutes.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, mustard seed, and dill seed. Bring to a boil, and boil for one minute.
- Place a clove of garlic in each jar. Pack the asparagus spears, tips up or down (your preference), in the hot jars leaving 1/2 inch of space from the rim. Tuck one dill sprig into each jar, and sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pour hot pickling liquid into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Wipe rims with a clean damp cloth, and seal with lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature. Check seals when cool by pressing the center of the lid. It should not move. Label and date; store in a cool dark place. If any jars have not sealed properly, refrigerate and eat within two weeks.