Canning is something that we enjoy and have for years. I love showing you new recipes here. This Spicy Pickled Asparagus is another one in the many I wanted to show you. The tangy, nippy, garlicky, dilly flavor from the asparagus goes perfectly in a Bloody Mary or Caesar cocktail. They go equally well on a charcuterie board, cheese board, as a side for a sandwich or just as a snack right out of the jar.
This is one of the best-pickled asparagus recipes I have tried. Pickling is one of the easier canning practices to accomplish and do well.
The high acidity in pickling keeps bacteria away easier which also makes it safer than some of the other things to can. Quick pickling is another thing we love to do and have done it with pickles, spicy or not, onions, radishes, and fennel.
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How To Pickle Asparagus
First of all, you have to prepare your asparagus. Wash them well as they can have fine dirt embedded. Trim the asparagus to fit the jar. Trim the ends. You will need to use the spearheads (which I use mostly) and ends too.
You will get 5-pint jars from this recipe using 4 lbs. of asparagus plus some ends to make asparagus soup from which I love. I like them in a pint jar but if you want you can do them quart jars too and pickle the entire spear of asparagus.
Wash jars with hot soapy water or run them through the dishwasher. Submerge them in hot simmering water until ready to use. Always use new snap lids and wash them also in warm, soapy water. Leave them in a bowl of hot water until ready to use.
When ready to stuff remove from water and fill the jar with your seasonings. I like to keep the seasonings separate from the brine too so that you have consistency and one jar is not spicier than the other.
To make the pickling juice or brine, in a large saucepan add in the vinegar, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt.
In each jar add in the dill heads, dill seeds, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes.
Fresh Dill Heads or Leaves
Red Pepper Flakes
Now pack your asparagus in tightly, you may be surprised when the brine is added that they don’t seem tightly packed anymore. Use the spearheads and ends also to fill 5-pint jars.
Whatever is left cut into 1″ pieces and freeze for later use. Or fill more jars but you will need to make more brine too then.
Pour in hot brine into the jar leaving a 1/2″ headspace. Remove any bubbles carefully with a knife. Wipe the top and place the lid and screw the band on, sealing the jars fingertip tight only.
Process in a water bath canner for 10 min. or as per altitude. Use the handy guide below.
Let the jars cool to room temperature on a towel-lined countertop. You will hear the lids snapping closed as they cool. If a lid hasn’t sealed refrigerate and eat.
How Long Before You Can Eat Pickled Asparagus?
The longer you wait the better they are! You can start to eat them in a week’s time but I like to wait about 3 weeks or a month, after 6 months they are even better. Making them in the spring and summer and serving them at Christmas is fantastic. They of course make great gifts too.
I like to use up all my canning within the year but once you dive into these jars there will be no stopping you in finishing them off. Take one as a hostess gift or to a potluck for everyone to enjoy.
Does Pickled Asparagus Need to be Refrigerated?
If your pickled asparagus has been canned properly and then the lids have sealed you don’t need to refrigerate your jars. Store them in a cool, dark spot in your basement until you are ready to eat them. I have shelves that are under the stairs that house all my canning goods plus an empty jar, canning pot, etc.
You can do a quick pickle of one jar without water bath canning, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a week. Then eat it up within the month. This is good if you don’t want to water bath can or you only want a smaller amount.
Is Pickled Asparagus Good For You?
Well, the answer is kind of. Vegetables are healthy! Asparagus in general is an amazingly healthy and delicious vegetable. It is a great source for Vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
But pickling changes this up with the addition of salt and salt is not as healthy are we would like. In saying this though any asparagus is better than no asparagus just limit your intake and not eat the whole jar at one sitting.
More Recipes Using Asparagus
We love asparagus and besides having freshly steamed asparagus as a side dish we love this vegetable is many recipes too.
- 4 lbs. asparagus
- 5 - 1 pint jars
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 3 Tbsp. pickling salt
- 2 dill heads or leaves
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
- 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp. mustard seed
- 1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. dill seed
Prepare your jars by washing them in warm, soapy water or run them through the dishwasher. Submerge them in hot simmering water until ready to use. Always use new snap lids and wash them also in warm, soapy water. Leave them in a bowl of hot water until ready to use.
In a large saucepan add in the vinegar, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the salt.
In each jar add in the dill heads, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seed, coriander seed, dill seed and red pepper flakes. Pack in asparagus as tightly as possible. Pour in hot brine and leave 1/2" headspace. Remove any bubbles carefully with a knife. Wipe top and place lid and screw the band on fingertip tight only.
Process in a water bath for 10 min. or as per altitude. Let jars cool on a towel-lined countertop. Make sure all jars have sealed, you will hear them popping while the cool. If any don't seal then refrigerate and eat within a month's time.
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