Pickled asparagus is one of those preserves that you frequently see on the shelves of gourmet markets for $12 a jar. Its outrageously high priced for something you can harvest for free every spring, which puts me in sort of a pickle... So, I pickled my own and so can you!
Ingredients and Supplies:
6 pounds asparagus
5 cups white vinegar
5 cups cup water
5 teaspoons pickling salt
6 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
6 teaspoons mustard seeds
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemon, sliced and seeded
6 12-ounce mason jars with lids and bands, sterilized in dishwasher or canning pot
Step 1: Get That Water Boiling
Fill canning pot with enough water to cover jars with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil on stove top.
Sterilize jars in dishwasher or on stove top. Place the lids in a small saucepan and cover in water. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and let sit.
Step 2: Blanch and Bathe
Trim asparagus to fit the jar. Cut them short enough that when they rest in the jar there is about 3/4 inch to the rim. Save the bottoms of the asparagus for another use.
Blanch your asparagus in boiling water for 10 seconds and then place in ice water.
Step 3: Fill Jars
Pour water, vinegar, and salt into a saucepan, bring to a boil.
Fill each jar with 1 tsp mustard seed, 1 tsp fresh dill chopped, 1 clove garlic whole or chopped, 1 slice lemon. Then pack the jars with blanched asparagus. I like tip up but it doesn't matter.
Step 4: Seal Jars
Pour the boiling vinegar solution into the jars leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Use a clean rag to wipe the rip of each jar. Lift a lid from the hot water. Place the lid on the top of a jar. Place a band over the lid and screw down with your fingertips. Repeat with the rest of the jars.
Lower the full jars into the boiling water bath. The water will temporarily stop boiling as you add the jars. Wait until the water is boiling and then set a timer for 10 minutes. After ten minutes of boiling, lift the jars from the boiling water. Let cool on the counter.
Step 5: Get That Asparagus Pickled!
Open in four weeks and enjoy! Pickled asparagus if good for at least one year!