Pickled Asparagus Recipe

how-to-pickle-asparagus

I don’t remember where I first heard the idea of pickling asparagus, but as soon as I did I had to try it for myself.  I love almost anything pickled and I love asparagus, so it just seemed right.  This is a sweet spicy pickle with red pepper flakes, whole garlic and whole mustard seed.  A perfect crunchy summer picnic treat!

It’s a short post today.  I just spent the weekend learning the ins and outs of filmmaking with the 5DMarkII from Gale Tattersall, the DP of House.  Yes, totally cool!

Did you know you can pickle pretty much any vegetable?  I’ve pickled carrots, zucchini, beans, peas, cauliflower and of course cucumber.  There is something classy about pickled whole small vegetables like baby carrots and asparagus.  I plan on doing a ton of pickling this summer to give as gifts at Christmas when asparagus season is long gone.

I’m loving the flavor of mustard seed in my pickles, whether sweet or dill.  I bought a couple bags of mustard seeds from Azure Standard, not only for pickling but also to make my own mustard!

I guess asparagus is the most unique thing I’ve pickled now.  I’ve yet to try eggs or pigs feet ;)  Have you pickled anything?  Cucumbers totally count!

pickled-asparagus-recipe

Pickled Asparagus Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4-5 jars

Ingredients

  • 30 (2.5 lbs)
    asparagus spears
  • 1 cup
    kosher salt
  • 5 3/4 cup
    white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups
    sugar
  • 4-5
    garlic cloves
  • 4-5 sprigs
    fresh dill
  • 1 tsp
    red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp
    mustard seed
  • 1
    onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Wash and sterilize 4-5 wide mouth pint jars, lids and rings (you can sterilize them by running them in the dry setting in your dishwasher, or just soak in a sink of very hot water). You should need five jars if you’re adding onions, or four if it’s only asparagus.
  2. While jars are sterilizing, rinse asparagus and snap off the woody ends (save them for asparagus soup!). Cut the asparagus into 2-3 inch lengths.
  3. In a large pot, mix kosher salt, vinegar and sugar. Heat on medium high stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Turn heat to the lowest setting.
  4. Remove jars from sterilization and dry them off. Place one garlic clove and one sprig of dill in each jar. Divide the red pepper flakes and mustard seed among the jars.
  5. Pack asparagus tightly into the jars, interspersing with onion slices if desired.
  6. When jars are filled, pour brine (the vinegar mix) into each jar to cover all the asparagus. Put the lid on and seal with the rings. Let sit until sealed (at least one hour). If any lids did not seal (center of lid shouldn’t be able to be pressed down), refrigerate the jars.

Approximate cost/serving:  I got 30 asparagus spears for about $3.  I grow my own dill and get mustard seed in bulk from Azure Standard.  I get my jars for free from various sources like freecycle and friends.  All together  this cost me about $2.50 per jar.  Each jar has 6-10 servings.  So it’s only 25-45 cents a serving or $2.50 if you’re giving it away as a gift.

Vegetarian/gluten free: This is naturally vegetarian, gluten free and vegan too!


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5 Responses to “Pickled Asparagus Recipe”

  1. Tonja
    July 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Oh yummy, I love pickled aspargus and green beans. I am going to use the same recipe for green beans later this summer unless you have another one for those. I just transplanted two small “volunteer” dill plants from my mom’t garden and have mustard seed for some reason and lots of jars from mom and Gma, so I am set. Off to the farmer’s market this Saturday. Thank you!

  2. Neil Butterfield
    July 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    This sounds great, I love pickled onions and gherkins so there is every reason that I should love pickled asparagus.

  3. Michele
    June 10, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    I used this recipe last night and canned in pressure cooker. The asparagus are very shrunken and shriveled. Have you experienced this?

    • Diana
      October 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      Sorry I got behind on comments while adjusting to mommyhood. Babies keep you busy and tired! I have not experienced this Michele, but I use a waterbath canning method. Because of the acidity, you can do a waterbath instead of pressure canning. Hope you’ll give it another try!

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