Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pickled Asparagus - Putting Food By




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Please be honest. Could you resist this bargain? I need you to understand how pounds and pounds of asparagus found its way into my kitchen. I want you to understand the madness that drove a woman of my timber to process anything so vibrant in a manner guaranteed to turn it khaki green. Pounds of asparagus have already been blanched and made it to the freezer. I've held back some to use for a special project. I decided to pickle the last ten pounds of it and add the jars to gift baskets I make at Christmas time. As pickles go, this one is really easy to do. You need canning jars and a kettle, but not much in the way of special ingredients. A little garlic, some vinegar and a specialized salt used for pickling will do the trick. The pickling salt is free of additives that can turn pickles dark and brine cloudy and there really is no substitute for it. Fortunately, it can be found in any large grocery store. The most difficult part of this exercise is preparing the asparagus to fit into the canning jars. You, of course, want to discard the woody portion of the stems, but the size of your jars will require you cut the stems further still. Save this soft middle portion of the spear. Tomorrow, in a exercise where country roads meet city streets, we'll turn those odd pieces into an asparagus pesto that makes a wonderfully sophisticated sauce for chicken or pasta. Chances are most of you will never pickle asparagus, but its fun to see how its done, and the recipe will give you a greater appreciation of what's involved in putting food by.

Pickled Asparagus...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of the National Center for Home Food Preservation

Ingredients:

10 pounds asparagus
6 large garlic cloves
4-1/2 cups water
4-1/2 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
6 small hot peppers (optional)
1/2 cup canning salt
3 teaspoons dill seed

Directions:

1) Wash and rinse six wide-mouth pint jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
2) Wash asparagus well, but gently, under running water. Cut stems from bottom to leave spears with tips that fit into canning jars with a little less than 1/2-inch headspace. Peel and wash garlic cloves. Place a garlic clove in bottom of each jar, and tightly pack asparagus into jars with blunt ends down.
3) In an 8-quart Dutch oven or saucepot, combine water, vinegar, hot peppers (optional), salt and dill seed. Bring to a boil. Place one hot pepper (if used) in each jar over asparagus spears. Pour boiling hot pickling brine over spears, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
4) Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
5) Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove from canner. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check for seals. Allow pickled asparagus to sit in processed jars for 3 to 5 days before consumption for best flavor development. Yield: 6 pint jars.

Cook's Note: Photo of asparagus is shown before processing in boiling water bath.







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65 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

I have never had the pickled green asparagus before...sounds so intriguing!

That Girl said...

I think I could resist that, but then again, it is asparagus ;-)

yummychunklet said...

That is a great deal on asparagus! Yum!

Anna A. said...

What a score! I have never pickled anything but always been curious. It seems like a lot of people do it in the NW. Pickled asparagus are super fun to eat - esp with Bloody Marys. ;-)

thecompletecookbook said...

What a great idea to pickle asparagus - great that the colour stays perfect too.
:-) Mandy

tandysinclair.com said...

We pay so much for asparagus here that I would not ever have an abundance to bottle - you are so lucky :)

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Mary! I never heard or tasted pickled Asparagus before! This is amazing. I'd love to try and see how it's like!

kish said...

first time reader. FANTASTIC SITE. banner picture is genius.

oh and this recipe looks good. hahaha.

Ola said...

I love asparagus, so I understand - I probably could not resist them too :) pickled asparagus is my favourite way to put some spring into the jar - there's no better taste for cold winter dinners :) Have a great day Mary!

Maria said...

Perfect! I want to start doing more pickling, so I'll definitely give this a go!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

I cannot resist a bargain either!

Quay Po Cooks said...

Me too, I have not tasted pickled asparagus. I will never thought of pickling them. Got to give this a go to find out how it taste.

Mamatkamal said...

Asparagus are very expensive over here, but I've never tasted pickled asparagus before. This sounds easy to make and looks delicious! Have a great day Mary and thanks for sharing.
Cheers

Priya said...

Seriously i want grab a bottle of pickled asparagus and having rite now, looks yumm!!

Big Dude said...

This is a new one on me Mary. I've preserved asparagus frozen and canned and I thought I'd tried pickled evrything, but never considered or heard of pickled asparagus, but hey - why not? Pickled green veggies are a normal thing - I'd like to give one a try sometime.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Love it! Wish I was your next-door neighbor ;-)

Clint said...

I love pickled asparagus and pickled okra. Eat 'em right from the jar. Hope you have a great day!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Well, now I'm curious! I might just get some and make a small test batch-thanks:@)

Alessandra said...

I never pickled asparagus, but I should try: When they are in season here I can find some bargains too :-), and it is a short season after all :-).

Ciao
Alessandra

The Blonde Duck said...

I just made broiled aspargus last night for the first time!

Kim said...

I never pickeled asparagus and I think it's a great idea to do so! It's so good to have great veggie later in the summer or in the winter!

Pegasuslegend said...

One thing I have never tried is canning or pickling looks so fresh and better for you.. nice job Mary... wish I had time to do this :)

Melynda said...

We use to forage for asparagus along the irrigation banks when I was growing up in Yakima, as well as buy pounds and pounds of it at harvest time. Pickled is delicious especially in a Bloody Mary drink.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Ok, so I looooove asparagus, but I've never actually had it pickled. I like pickles. I like asparagus. Seems like a perfect fit! I'll have to try it. Now to find some for $1.69!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Karen Harris said...

I am always looking for a nice brine recipe and I trust yours so I'll give it a try. I love asparagus. I would love to get a jar of pickled asparagus at Christmas. YUM.

Jenn said...

I have to giggle just a little because I'm not an asparagus fan (I know, people gasp when I tell them that), so when you talk about how could you not resist the bargain, I was like, well, that's easy, I could totally resist it!! Despite my lack of love for asparagus, I would still try the pickled version, that's one way I have not had them and my dad always told me to try something before saying I didn't like it :)

Young Adventures... said...

I love that sign, what a bargain! We loved asparagus but I have not heard of it being pickled. I think we would like it though. Thanks forr sharing another way to serve this wonderful vegetable. I'm looking forward to the upcoming recipes.

Marmande in the Kitchen said...

I just had some asparagus pickles yesterday and loved them. It would probably be so much more economical to make them at home, though, especially when asparagus is on sale. This one is bookmarked!

lena said...

never heard of pickled asparagus here and would like to see how are you're going to make them into pesto.

Guvi said...

Never heard of pickled asparagus before (which doesn't mean anything else than I'm ignorant :))), I'm really tempted to try it, but not at $4,99/bunch! But I completely understand you, I would've done the same!

Ginny said...

You learn something new every day. I have never heard of pickled asparagus!!!

Holly said...

I ♥ Asparagus. I think it's great you gave these jars of Pickled Asparagus away for presents!

June said...

Love, love, love pickled asparagus and make it often too. I'd be with ya' buying pounds and pounds of it at that price! Can't wait to see the pesto Mary.

bellini said...

Many a pickled asparagus has mades its way to my antipasto platters but I have never made my own. That neds to change.

Gloria said...

absolutely amazing asparagus! I love this,, gloria

Parsley Sage said...

Nope, never had pickled asparagus! Looks awesome tho and very tasty :) Fantastic deal as well...I'd have bought 10 pounds myself!

cookingmisadventures said...

That actually looks do-able! Excited to see the recipe next. ~ Courtney

Linda Starr said...

I love pickled okra so I am sure I will like pickled asparagus even more.

sweetcarolinescooking.com said...

I've never pickled asparagus, but what a great way to reserve it. I'm sure I would have bought mass amounts as well, considering the great price and my love for the vegetable. Can't wait to see your recipe for the leftover pieces!

Wendy Irene said...

Mary, I absolutely love that first picture of the chalkboard. It is so beautiful! You could hang that in your home :) Have a beautiful day!

Eva said...

I have never heard of that, but I bet it tastes awesome! So creative!

wishful nals said...

oh my yum. i love asparagus!

Kate@Diethood said...

I've never pickled asparagus... I always just buy a lot of it around this time of year, eat as much as I can before it is no longer at the markets, and then wait till next year. :) I think I need to pickle! Thank you for the inspiration, Mary!!

Faith said...

Oh my goodness, there is no way I could have resisted that bargain! I've never had pickled asparagus but I have never met a pickle I didn't like...I bet it's delicious! Hope you're having a great day, Mary!

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen said...

Never would've thought to pickle asparagus. It's one of my all time fav veggies though and since it's season is so short this sounds like a great idea.

teresa said...

it's so great to jump on a good deal when it comes your way. i have never had pickled asparagus before, but it looks awesome!!

Kate said...

I've been on a quick-pickles kick lately, but I never even contemplated pickling ASPARAGUS. I'm going to have to try this! Thanks so much for posting! I can never get enough crunchy-crisp asparagus.

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

I love the idea of pickling - so nice to have the beautiful asparagus all year long!
Mary

Claudia said...

Mary, I love your introductions. Somehow you have turned me into a woman who now wants to pickle asparagus. But I will wait until it falls below $3.99/pound.

Lucy said...

I've never canned or pickled anything, let alone asparagus - great idea! And such a cute gift:)

yvette said...

Nevee thought of pickling asparagus, what a great idea!
Love the pics!

the nyanzi report said...

good stuff!

My Little Space said...

Mary, I have just started my canning project last month. It was so much fun and easy too. But had never thought of canning the asparagus. Nice touch! Hope you're having a great day.
Blessings, Kristy

Val said...

Amazing! I love asparagus.

Stevie said...

Wow! So beautiful and undoubetedly both tasty and healthy. At Chrismas time this pickled asparagus would be like a miracle: the promise of spring.

JG said...

Asparagus is great! Our local crops are much more per lb. I would not be able to resist that price. :)
~Judy

FOODalogue said...

Good price on the asparagus...I've been paying twice that. Your pickling looks great and I was interested to learn that there is a special salt for pickling/canning. I've pickled vegetables a few times in the past but just used kosher salt.

Joanne said...

Um no I definitely could NOT pass that deal by! I am such an asparagus fiend! I've never thought to pickle them...how fantastic!

tricia s. said...

Thanks for the super sweet comment you left on our blog - you made Nana's night and mine as well. We were also delighted to see your asparagus idea- I just finished adding asparagus to a Dorie Greenspan soup recipe and was remembering how much my family enjoys it. Thanks again !! Tricia

Tammy said...

Pickled Asparagus is new to me...I've never heard of it before!

xx,
Tammy

p.s.
That cherry garcia ice cream is driving me mad! I've been eating nothing but ice cream since the weather has gotten warmer! :)

Chiara said...

I have never pickled asparagus before Mary!A great idea, thanks for sharing, have a good weekend...

sweetlife said...

pickled asparagus..how perfect for summer parties!! great bargain!

sweetlife

Elaine said...

I don't think I have ever had pickled asparagus, Mary. I don't blame you a bit for taking advantage of that price and pickling some of them. Great deal!

Food Glorious Food! said...

I always love asparagus. They are lovely looking, packed with nutrients and delicious!

Stacey Snacks said...

I love pickled anything....and 1.69 for fresh asparagus??? You lucky girl! I have been bragging about picking my own (free), but once I ran out, the farms here charge 3.99 lb.

Will try this recipe!
Stacey

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