Pickled asparagus is one of the true harbingers of spring. As soon as it appears in your market, cook up a batch.
About the author: Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated pickler who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars.
- Yield:makes two 24-ounce jars
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:24 hours
- 3 pounds asparagus, washed and trimmed to fit your jars
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
Prepare a boiling water bath canner and two 24-ounce jars (you can also substitute four 12-ounce jelly jars). Place lids in a small pan of water and bring to a bare simmer.
Combine white vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Fill a large saucepan with several inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add half of asparagus to pot and cook for exactly 1 minute. Transfer asparagus to a colander with tongs and run under cool water. Repeat with remaining asparagus.
Remove jars from the canning pot and drain. Place one tablespoon of pickling spice and one garlic clove in the bottom of each jar. Divide asparagus evenly between the two jars. Pour pickling liquid over the asparagus. Tap jars gently to remove any air bubbles.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let me cool on a folded towel. When jars are entirely cool, remove rings and check seals.
Let these pickles rest at least 24 hours before eating. As with most pickles, they will improve over time. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year.