Asparagus season is almost over and I’m thinking about ways I can savor this tasty vegetable for a few more months. I can’t really think of a better way than pickling asparagus, but that’s because I love all things pickled. I might be known to eat an entire jar of pickled vegetables in one sitting.
You can use pickled asparagus in salads, pasta, sandwiches or just snack on them right out of the jar. Here is a little hint: if you can’t find anymore asparagus at the market, try using thinly sliced zucchini instead. Just take out the water in the ingredients below and drain the zucchini over a colander to get as much liquid out as you can before canning.
30 asparagus spears
1/3 cup coarse salt
2 quarts cold water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
2 sprigs fresh dill
Trim the cut end of the asparagus spears, and cut them small enough to fit into your jars. The bigger the jar the less you’ll have to cut off. 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.
Sterilize two pint size jars or one quart size jar in simmering water for 5 minutes.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, mustard seed, dill seed and onion in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil for one minute.
Place one dill sprig into each hot jar, and sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pack the asparagus spears, tips up, in the jars leaving 1/2 inch of space from the rim. You’ll want to pack the jar as much as you can. Pour hot pickling liquid into the jars, filling to 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.