Spicy Pickled Asparagus

June 22, 2012 |  by  |  Blog

It is officially summer!

The days are longer and warmer. Gardens are bursting with summer produce. School is out (and children everywhere are rejoicing!). It feels that the whole city of Portland is celebrating the season.

The one thing we’re not celebrating, however, is the end of asparagus season. We’re at the tail end of this special time of year where this green stalky vegetable is available in mass quantities at local farmer’s markets. In my humble opinion, there’s not much better in this world than a bunch of fresh spring asparagus.

But, such is the nature of the changing of the seasons. It’s time to say goodbye to asparagus. To say farewell…until next year.

There is one way to ensure that you don’t have to say goodbye at all, however. You can preserve it. This is the recipe I use to ensure that asparagus season lasts all year long. These asparagus pickles are crisp and spicy, and they are absolutely delicious in a Bloody Mary or on a charcuterie plate.

I implore you to snatch up the last of this season’s asparagus bounty. Get it while you still can. And if you want to snack on spicy pickled asparagus all winter long, I highly recommend this recipe!

Spicy Pickled Asparagus

(Adapted from Sustainable Pantry. Makes 3 jars of pickled asparagus.)

3 bunches (approx. 1 lb each) of asparagus
3 cups white vinegar
3 teaspoons pickling salt
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1.5 teaspoons coriander seeds
1.5 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Clean your jars and lids; prepare canner (i.e. bring a large pot of water to a boil. Large enough to contain and cover standing jars with water.)

In another pot, bring to boil the vinegar, salt, pepper flakes, coriander, mustard seeds and garlic. When the mixture is boiling, add asparagus. Cook the asparagus for 2 minutes. (I had a lot of asparagus so I had to work in batches).

Pack asparagus into the jars (the original recipe recommends tip-side down). Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar leaving 1/2 inch headspace; remove air bubbles with a chopstick, and adjust headspace as needed. Clean rim, and place lid on center of jar. Screw on band until tight.

Process jars for 10 minutes in a hot water bath. Remove jars and place on a clean towel to cool and dry. Store in a cool, dry place. Refrigerate after opening.

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