The asparagus season is short and sweet, so I always try to find ways to make those delectable green spears last as long as possible. That’s why Marisa McClellan’s recipe for pickled asparagus is one I find myself turning to again and again. If your family is anything like mine, a jar of pickled asparagus spears won’t last long enough to justify the hot water bath that makes them shelf-stable. Instead, we keep them in the refrigerator until they’re gone. However, if you want to gift a few jars to your friends and family, you’ll want to process them in boiling water for 15 minutes to ensure a longer shelf-life.
What you’ll need:
• 2 24-ounce jars (with new lids and seals)
• 3 pounds of asparagus, washed and trimmed to fit your jars
• 1 ½ cup white vinegar
• 1 ½ cup filtered water
• 1 tsp. dill weed
• 1 tsp. peppercorns
• 1 tsp. mustard seeds
• 2 tbsp pickling salt
• 6 cloves garlic, peeled
• 4 dried New Mexican Chiles
Prepare a boiling water bath canner and place two 24-ounce jars in the boiling water to sterilize. In a small saucepan, add an inch or two of water over medium-high heat until the water begins to simmer. Place the lids in the simmering water.
Fill a large saucepan with several inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Blanch your asparagus in the water for 1 minute, remove to a colander, and run under cold water. Allow the asparagus to continue to drain in the colander.
Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the jars from the boiling water bath and drain. Divide the dill weed, peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic and New Mexican Chiles between the two jars.
Pack the asparagus into the jars over the spices, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Pour the liquid over the asparagus, and tap the jars to remove any air bubbles.
Wipe rims with a damp cloth, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from jars from water onto a towel, and allow to cool completely. Once cool, remove the rings and check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Recipe slightly adapted from Serious Eats.
To package my pickled asparagus, I chose tags and labels in the style Treasury.